Teenage Engineering Student Develops Brilliant Idea to Clean Our Oceans

By: | August 29th, 2014

For the past century, people and corporations alike have polluted our oceans at an alarming rate, killing tons of marine life and denting the economy and ecosystem rather recklessly.

Dutch engineering student Boyan Slat has invented a cost-effective solution that can help us rid our oceans of plastic for good.

His idea involves putting specially-designed V-shaped booms in the world’s major marine gyres, as it moves across the ocean the water flows under it collecting all the floating plastic. The solution itself is extremely efficient and is already making a huge impact.

According to his site, theoceancleanup.com, a single boom could clean a gyre of plastic in 7-10 years and make a majority of the money spent back by recycling the collected plastic. As a result, this method would be 33 times cheaper than the current cleaning methods used today. As of today, the project has raised $1.2 million in crowd sourced donations and is a well on its way to reaching its goal of 2 million.

The impressive part is that the project came to Slat’s imagination a few years ago when he was only 17 years old, and has since picked up a huge amount support including being featured in a Ted Talk’s video to address the problem and propose his solution. The earth may not be so doomed after all if we keep supporting projects like this one.

Slat discusses his idea in this recent video:

Austin Miller

I am an aspiring physicist, with an interest in art and technology.

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