Boyan Slat is not only an accomplished inventor, environmentalist and entrepreneur at the mere age of 20, he may also have solved the world’s ocean pollution crisis.
While at secondary school, the Dutch teenager dedicated half a year of his life to researching plastics pollution and the issues associated with cleaning it up.
The result of his work was The Ocean Cleanup project, an innovative idea which landed the youngster a spot on the TEDx Delft stage in 2012.
At the time, his ideas were held up as revolutionary but many wondered how feasible it would be to implement his designs.
Well, two years of hard work later, Boyan is back and he and his team have started to test the limits of the self-sustaining eco friendly design which they think might be capable of cleaning the planet’s dirty seawater.
The project aims to rid the entire ocean of all plastic within the next 10 years, and hopes to make some money too by collecting the plastic and returning it to land for recycling.
The program, if successful, would work in three stages (extraction, prevention and interception) and involve the building and maintenance of five giant floating sea rigs. An array of floating barriers attached to the rigs will catch and then concentrate the debris.
The project then hopes to expand into rivers and waterways which, Boyan says, are the real cause of the pollution problem. So far the cause has raised 100% of its $2million goal, with the target launch date now set for 2016.
Boyan argues that pollution of the seas might be the next biggest problem our planet faces. If the oceans die, the Earth’s biggest supplier of oxygen and carbon dioxide could be lost forever.
And, with the problems that rubbish in the sea can cause for wildlife, animal lovers and environmentalists everywhere will be delighted that someone has a realistic plan for the future of the seas. Good on this guy!