An outlandish idea, floated by a 17-year-old two years ago, now has funding, a 530-page feasibility study, and the backing of 15 institutions. Next step: Actually picking up some trash.
Two years ago, when Boyan Slat first proposed his giant ocean clean-up device, it didn’t seem likely he would actually pull it off. The idea was intriguing, to be sure. But Slat was only 17 at the time and still in high school, and what he was suggesting was outlandish: a floating array spanning many miles and capable of sucking up tons of trash every year. With the best will in the world, it didn’t seem like a teenager would have the experience, resources, or persistence to make the idea a reality.
Fast forward to June 2014 and things seem quite different. Slat doesn’t yet have a working machine, but he has made a lot of progress. His Ocean Cleanup project has produced a 530-page feasibility study covering technology, legal issues, and financing. It’s gathered a management team and plenty of volunteers. It’s got the backing of 15 institutions, including universities and engineering groups. And it’s raised money: an initial crowd-funding campaign, in April 2013, brought in $80,000 in 15 days. It’s all mighty impressive.
The Latest on: Ocean Plastic
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The Latest on: Ocean Plastic
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- Plastic pollution: ‘It’s not 10 rivers, it’s 1,000’on April 30, 2021 at 3:12 pm
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- Sainsbury’s to recycle ocean plastic waste into strawberry & fish packagingon April 29, 2021 at 4:16 am
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- We’re ruining Earth’s oceans one piece of plastic at a timeon April 28, 2021 at 3:01 pm
Humans have irreversibly altered Earth in many ways, but one of our longest-lasting legacies will always be our invention of plastics. Plastics are cheap, durable, and easy to produce.
- Want to Own the Ocean? Now You Can: Moen Launches NFT Auction to Help Combat Ocean Plastic Pollutionon April 22, 2021 at 8:00 am
More than 5 trillion particles of plastic cover the ocean's surface, causing serious problems for our Earth.* Moen, the leader in water experiences in the home, is using an innovative approach to help ...
- The third-generation Interceptor is ready to stop ocean plasticon April 22, 2021 at 4:00 am
Ocean Cleanup CEO Boyan Slat discusses his river-plastic Interceptors and the nonprofit's plans for the near future.
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