A revolutionary project
A 23-year-old Dutch environmentalist, Boyan Slat, an engineer in aeronautics, became famous with his project The Ocean Cleanup, which aims to rid the oceans of plastic pollution. He had the great idea of cleaning the ocean in 2011, when he discovered, during a scuba dive, a heap of plastic waste in the deep sea. Since then, he has been working relentlessly to develop its solution in order to clean the ocean and to solve this problem. The participative financing campaign, launched by the young environmentalist, was a real success, 1.540 million dollars were collected.
Trials and conclusive results
His first attempt, a 100-kilometer long barrier of floaters and nets, placed off the coast of the Netherlands, was conclusive. But since then, the Dutch and the engineers of its team have improved the system. The long barrier will be replaced by about thirty barriers of only 1 to 2 kilometers, attached not to the bottom, but to a floating anchor of 12 kilometers. They will float on the sandstone currents to catch the waste they encounter. Boyan Slat hopes to rid the Pacific of half of its plastic pollution within five years. Cleaning should start in just one year and not in 2020 as originally planned.
Many critics, … but
Only the large waste will be blocked, leaving in the water the microparticles much more dangerous for the marine fauna. Some think that stopping waste at the coast would be much more sensible. Other people find the project too expensive, it would be enough for them simply to reduce the number of waste that falls into the oceans. Boyan Slat’s answer came quickly “We have to catch the plastic before it becomes ocean plastic, and we have to clean up what’s in the oceans.”
Knowing that each year, 6.5 billion kilos of plastic waste is dumped in the oceans, all the initiatives to overcome it are welcome, thank you Boyan.