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
  • 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

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

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.’