Inventor (19) wants to rid the oceans of plastic
Written by www.telegraaf.nl
A beach holiday where the promised snow-white beaches are in reality littered with plastic – many tourists have experienced this. The huge amount of plastic refuse in the oceans has been bothering many people for a long time already. The 19-year old Delft inventor Boyan Slat (pictured) thinks he has found the solution.
In 2012 Slat came up with a plan for an installation to rid the oceans of plastic and spent more than a year doing a feasibility study. On Tuesday 3 June 2014 he will present the results in New York. Conclusion: it is feasible. Slat believes that by 2020 he can install his invention in the area between Hawaii and California – one of the most plastics-polluted areas in all the oceans. “Within 10 years we can remove almost half of all the plastic in that area”, states the young inventor.
The installation proposed by Slat has very long floating arms in the shape of a V. They are 100 kilometres long and three metres high and are anchored to the sea bottom at strategic points. “In this way we can catch the bulk of the plastic. The sea currents will automatically drive the plastic into the V.” There it will be pumped up and stored. Every 15 months a tanker will collect the plastic. According to Slat his system does not pose a danger to plants or wild life because the currents will carry the marine life with it.
Slat first came up with his idea for The Ocean Cleanup during his High School project. Later he presented this at a conference. The YouTube video of that has already been viewed almost 1.5 million times. He temporarily stopped his studies for air and space travel techniques so he could concentrate on the project. In the meantime he has gathered a team of about 100 people around himself.
Now that Slat is convinced that his idea can become reality, it’s time for the next phase, which Slat wants to finance via crowdfunding. Building plans will have to come first. After that a proto-type needs to be built and tested and finally the building of the definitive Ocean Cleanup installation. That can then start the mammoth task to cleaning up. “We do have to close the plastics tap and stop with polluting”, warns Slat, “or else there is no point.”
As reported in the Dutch newspaper The Telegraaf on 3 June 2014 – http://www.telegraaf.nl/binnenland/22696541/__Uitvinder__19__wil_schone_oceaan__.html