The $2,154,282 raised makes it ‘the most successful non-profit crowd funding campaign in history'

The Ocean Cleanup project has successfully completed its crowd funding campaign.

With the

support of more than 38,000 funders from 160 countries, in 100 days more than US $2million has been raised.

The project, founded by 20-year-old Dutchman Boyan Slat when he was just 17, aims to clean the oceans of plastics using a system of long floating arms attached to the

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

Thanks to the successful funding campaign, the next

step, which comprises the construction and testing of large-scale

operational pilots, can now be initiated.

The Ocean Cleanup will now assemble a new team to

lead the research, and plans to start the pilot phase next month.

The team projects the first pilot will hit the ocean within a year. A

series of up-scaling tests will ultimately result in a fully operational

offshore cleanup array by 2017.

Crowd funding record-breaker

Boyan Slat, CEO of The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, said: ‘Plastic

pollution has been recognised by the UN as one of the major

environmental challenges facing mankind in the 21st century.

‘The crowd

funding received so far enables us to start the Pilot Phase, in which we

push the concept from feasible to executable.

‘Hence, we are very

grateful to all of whom have supported us worldwide, all crowd funding

and professional in kind contributors, as well as the many volunteers

and ambassadors who invested their enthusiasm, and gave us the

confidence to keep going.’

In June this year, Boyan Slat presented The Ocean

Cleanup’s feasibility study – a 530-page report, authored by 70

scientists and engineers – proposing a viable method to clean half of

the so-called ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ within 10 years’ time.

At

the same time, a crowd funding campaign was launched, aiming to collect $2million within 100 days. The target

had been achieved in 98 days.

After completion, US $2,154,282 had been raised via 38,615 donors,

making it ‘the most successful non-profit crowd funding campaign in

history’, according to crowd funding platform ABN AMRO’s SEEDS, who

facilitated the campaign.