Back in 2013, we reported on the story of 19 year old Boyan Slat, who had developed a device with the capacity to remove 7,250,000 tonnes of plastic and garbage from the worlds oceans in just 5 years. Boyan, now 20, and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup Project, has just announced that his project will come into fruition by 2016. The announcement was made during Asia’s largest technology conference, Seoul Digital Forum, in South Korea.
His system spans 2,000 meters, which means it will become the longest floating structure to ever be deployed into the ocean. Launching this device represents a huge milestone in The Ocean Cleanup’s mission to clean and rid the world’s oceans of plastic pollution.
Deployment off the coast of Tsushima, an island located between Japan and South Korea, is currently being researched. The device will be operational for around two years before it reaches the shores of Tsushima Island, where researchers are now looking into whether or not the plastic that is caught can be used as an alternative energy source.
How Does It Work?
This device consists of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms that can be sent to garbage patches around the world. The device works with the flow of nature. Instead of using boats and nets, The Ocean Cleanup uses long floating barriers utilizing the natural movement and energy of the ocean itself. In this way, only the plastic itself will be focused on. The current will float under the booms, taking away all sea life and preventing by-catch. The plastic will collect in front of the floating barrier and then be filtered and stored for recycling.
“Taking care of the world’s ocean garbage problem is one of the largest environmental challenges mankind faces today. Not only will this first cleanup array contribute to cleaner waters and coasts but it simultaneously is an essential step towards our goal of cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This deployment will enable us to study the system’s efficiency and durability over time.” -Boyan Slat
This is such an incredible invention! We really can change the world for the better, this is just one of many examples of what is possible. Never assume that something is too far gone and that nothing can be done. Change is ALWAYS possible, and it is happening all around us! What an exciting time to be alive.
Check out The Ocean Cleanup Project.
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