Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup: “The World’s First Feasible Concept To Clean The Oceans Of Plastic”

By on April 11, 2015

Boyan Slat, a Dutch former aerospace engineering student, has taken the world by storm with his innovation to clean up polluted oceans. His concept, The Ocean Cleanup, is backed by scientists and engineers who say it’s indeed a feasible and viable technique.

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Some are calling it the “world’s first feasible concept to clean the oceans of plastic.” Last year, on June 3rd 2014, Boyan Slat gave the long-awaited sequel to his 2012 TEDx Talk, in New York City, USA, where he said his plastic-capturing concept can clean half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in a decade. The project was inspired after the young man took a diving trip in Greece in 2011 and saw more plastic in the water than fish.

Slat’s ambitious project — proposed when he was only 17— received a slew of accolades and was recently named a finalist in London’s Design Museum′s Design of the Year awards, which “celebrate design that promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year.”

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Read more about Slat’s design here:

In related news, last year San Francisco became the first city in America to ban the sale of plastic water bottles, a move that is building on a global movement to reduce the huge amount of waste from the billion-dollar plastic bottle industry.

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Over the next four years, the ban will phase out the sales of plastic water bottles that hold 21 ounces or less in public places. Waivers are permissible if an adequate alternative water source is not available. One of the larges supporters of the proposal was the Think Outside the Bottle campaign, a national effort that encourages restrictions of the “eco-unfriendly product.”

San Francisco’s ban is less strict than the full prohibitions passed in 14 national parks, a number of universities and Concord, Mass. Violators of the ban would face fines of up to $1,000.

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Indonesian surfer Dede Surinaya catches a wave in a remote but garbage-covered bay on Java, Indonesia, the world’s most populated island. More photos here.

“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans,” Oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau is reported to have said at one point. In an interview he did in March 1996, he also said this: We have to prepare for what life could become in 40 years. We need to outline what is possible and what is impossible with the non-renewable resources of the Earth. What role will technological improvement play? Taking all this into account, what kind of life can we produce in the best way for 10 billion people? That’s a problem that needs to be solved.”

At least there’s a sharp 20-yeard old working on an idea that could have some impact. Bravo, Boyan!

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A labourer collects plastic waste at a garbage recycling site in Huaibei, east China’s Anhui province October 29, 2006. China will invest about 111.5 billion yuan ($14.13 billion) in the next five years to improve urban environments and hygiene, the Ministry of Construction said, local media reported. Picture taken October 29, 2006.

About Bryan

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide and a dozen other websites and zines, most of them long gone. He’s also worked for over twenty years at reissue record labels, and penned scads of liner notes -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He is now somewhat reclusive and bides his time quietly in his dusty Miracle Mile hermitage in Los Angeles, CA.