Teen Solves One Of Earth’s Biggest Ecological Problems After a Vacation
While vacationing in Greece, 16-year-old Boyan Slat was dismayed to find that he came across more plastic than fish while diving in the Mediterranean. Back home in the Netherlands, he decided to devote a high school project to looking at plastic pollution in the ocean to figure out why it was considered so difficult to clean up. What he discovered stunned him.
Plastic garbage from all over the globe pours into the world’s oceans. Over time it gets carried by the currents to five regions of the ocean known as gyres, also known as the world’s “ocean garbage patches.” In fact, there is even an area located between California and Hawaii known as The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where so much plastic and debris has accumulated there are even areas solid enough to walk on.
The Garbage Patch Kid
Boyan came up with an ingenious idea to try and clean up the plastic polluting the ocean. It involved developing a passive system, using the ocean currents as the driving force to catch the plastic. He first suggested that a 65-mile floating V-shaped array could collect plastic floating near the surface and funnel it to a collection point, where boats would then pick the plastic up for recycling. In 2012, he gave a TED talk on his idea that went viral. In 2013, 18-year-old Boyan founded the nonprofit company The Ocean Cleanup, whose mission is to develop advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.
The Clean Machine
Initially, Boyan and The Ocean Cleanup had planned a full launch for late 2020, but now they expect to be able to start as soon as 2018. There have been some changes to the original design as the project has moved through the prototype and testing phases to streamline the process. Boyan says that the long-term plan is to recycle all the plastic collected from the ocean into items like car bumpers, chairs, and eyewear to help defray the operational costs.
More in Life
Dad Has Awesome Advice for Other Fathers Whose Kids Gravitate to Mom
Terrence Mentor is a blogger who goes under the screen name AfroDaddy. Recently he publicly opened up his personal struggles of...September 15, 2017
What Really Happened to Laci Peterson? The Answer is Shocking
The Laci Peterson Case dominated headlines for years. The blockbuster trial turned into a wild media frenzy as details unfolded about...September 12, 2017
The Remarkable and Turbulent Life of Cheryl Pierson-Cuccio
On the outside, Cheryl Pierson was just another average American teenage girl, but behind closed doors lied a dark and sinister...September 10, 2017
Have Two Brothers Cracked the 220-Year-Old Oak Island Mystery?
It's been 220 years and the Oak Island Mystery still piques the interest of many explorers. The obsession with finding the...August 29, 2017
They Were Hired to Clean a Home But Ended Up in a House of Horrors
They were hired to clean a house and then go back to their lovely life but instead walked into a world...August 27, 2017
Did This Stop Natalee Holloway From Being Found in Time?
In May 30, 2005, a young and beautiful girl by the name of Natalee Ann Holloway vanished without a trace on...August 24, 2017
Bakery Was Struggling Until Customer Made a Special Facebook Post
Sometimes it just takes a small act of kindness to restore your faith in humanity. Haagensens Bakery had enjoyed many successful years...August 24, 2017
Man Raises Money So Best Friend With Cancer Can Finally Get Hitched
In June 2017, Lewis Thomas Davies was out walking with his fianceé Alicia when he collapsed due to a seizure. After...August 21, 2017
Customers Run Coffee Shop For a Day While Employees Go to the Beach
Cafe Buunni in Hudson Heights, New York, recently celebrated its five-year anniversary and their loyal customers figured out an awesome way to...August 20, 2017