The Ocean Cleanup is seeking to crowd fund $2million for the next phase of the project

The Ocean Cleanup has published a feasibility report that concludes its new invention is ‘a technically and financially viable method’ of removing plastic waste from oceans.

Dutchman Boyan

Slat’s, who is aged 19 and the founder of The Ocean Cleanup, has invented a system of long floating arms attached to the

seabed, so that ‘the oceans could basically clean themselves.’

The 530-page report

– reviewed by scientific peers – concludes it is a technically and financially viable method.

  • The report is the result of more than a year of extensive scientific research in

    engineering, oceanography, ecology, maritime law, finance and recycling.
  • The feasibility study was financially supported by crowd funding and

    professional in kind contributions. The research was done by an

    international team of more than 100 experts, predominantly on a voluntary

    basis.
  • The next step, building and testing large-scale operational

    pilots, will be initiated as soon as sufficient funding has been raised.

Slat aims to tackle the

infamous ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ and says that within 10 years’ time, almost half of its plastic could be

removed.

He said: ‘I

first became aware of the plastic pollution problem when diving in

Greece, coming across more plastic bags than fish. Unfortunately, the

plastic does not go away by itself. Hence I wondered; Why can’t we clean

this up?’

A cleanup has always been deemed impossible, costing

many billions of dollars and taking thousands of years to complete.

Besides, bycatch and emissions from ships would likely cancel out the

benefits.

Slat added: ‘I wondered; why move through the oceans, if the oceans can

move through you? By attaching a system of long floating arms to the

seabed, the oceans could basically clean themselves.’

How it works

Slat’s concept uses the

natural ocean currents and winds to passively transport plastic towards a

collection platform.

Instead of using nets and vessels to remove the

plastic from the water, solid floating barriers are used to make

entanglement of sea life impossible.

Next Steps

To bridge the gap

between the outcome of the study and the full implementation of the

concept, a series of up-scaling tests will be carried out, ultimately

resulting in a large-scale operational pilot.

To minimize

costs, The Ocean Cleanup will outsource most of the fundamental research to institutes and

collaborate with offshore and engineering companies to cover most of

the costs.

Based on this approach, The Ocean Cleanup now seeks $2million for the execution of this next phase, for which it now has launched a new crowd funding campaign.

Slat added: ‘Although a cleanup will have a

profound effect, it is just part of the solution. We also need to close

the tap, to prevent any more plastic from reaching the oceans in the

first place.’