Global Ocean Clean-up in Only 5 years?

Global Ocean Clean up in 5 years
No one really has any idea what kind of pollution is going on in our oceans today.  It is easy to turn a blind eye or pretend that it doesn’t exist, though in certain areas of the world, where plastic bags and bottles are strewn along the shoreline, it’s harder to ignore.  It is the kind of issue that leaves you wondering what you can do personally to effect global change.  One 19 year old boy came up with a solution.  Boyan Slat is a young, 19 year old inventor and he has created something that he says can give us clean oceans globally in only 5 years.

Would you believe something like 20 billion tons of plastic brewing out in the world’s oceans?  That’s about right.  They even have a name for one big pile of garbage accumulating out there in the Pacific ocean.  It’s called the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” and it’s getting worse every year.  In fact, over the past 40 years it has multiplied one hundred fold, according to a recent study reported by NBC news in May of 2012.  Since then, it’s sure to have grown even more.

Slat’s design includes some floating blooms which would suck all this plastic into it much in the same way as a funnel works.  There are plastic processing plants out there in the ocean, though much of the garbage never reaches it.  Slat’s blooms would suck all the plastic and then direct it to these processing plants. These plants separate the material, releasing that which is natural and recycling everything else. If his idea works, it is estimated that the world’s oceans could be free of this floating garbage, clean again in as little as only 5 years.


Boyan wrote a paper on his idea in school, which was then recognized and given Best Technical Design in 2012 from the Delft University of Technology.  Since his award, Boyan Slat started a non-profit organization to work on the project and get it going, called The Ocean Clean-up Foundation.  His idea is ocean and solar powered and would save many fish and other aquatic species who are threatened by the current condition of the oceans.  His foundation will raise money and work on the actual immediate implementation of the project so the oceans can start cleaning up as soon as possible.

Much of the oxygen we breathe on the planet comes from the marine phytoplankton, more than from all the forests on the earth.  If the oceans suffer, we do.  This new technology created by a 19 year old who cares could clean our oceans globally in only 5 years.  For more information on this evolutionary technology and to contribute to the project visit Boyan’s website.  For something as dismal as environmental clean-up, Boyan makes it sound not only simple, but doable in a short period of time.  These are the kind of solutions we need and fast.  They always said the children would lead us.  Perhaps it is time to take the ideas of our youth more seriously and open ourselves up to the possibility that we are just around the corner from total global solutions.  Thanks kids!

Written by: Stasia Bliss

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13 Responses to Global Ocean Clean-up in Only 5 years?

  1. Adam September 14, 2013 at 9:37 am

    I already came up with that idea long ago. Sep no one listens to a middle aged, fat pothead. They won’t listen to a young moron either but he will get more attention for sure since he is better looking. My idea was to use the Navy to do the work manually. Also, the 5 year estimate is wrong. It will be an ongoing job.

    • J September 14, 2013 at 11:13 am

      Maybe the fact your a pothead may have something to do with no one listening, or the fact you maybe only talked about it and not done anything about it. Plus anyone could say this…there is this little thing called proof and actual plans. Obviously he’s not a moron and has much more ambition than a pothead.

      • bob October 3, 2013 at 10:12 am

        woah now s a bit ambitious to call potheads not unambitious.

    • Cris October 3, 2013 at 11:14 am

      Did you know that Harland David Sanders got rejected 1,000 times before he got a buyer for his KFC recipe? maybe you need to get your personal development up before you try & contribute to society, it seems your internal views overwhelm your reality.

  2. hirondellederivage September 14, 2013 at 12:27 am

    Our future is on the hands of these kind of young. We just have to believe and recognize their value. Thanks Boyan. You are doing a great job !

  3. bodley ng September 12, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    Funny how one decides to criticize so negatively. I mean rven if you don’t believe that the idea works, you could at least give the kid a pat on the back. I agree with c.wolf haha. Anyways, I think its a great start and if it won’t clean our oceans completely, it’ll make a difference whether big or small. I mean its sure a lot more productive than sitting in front of computers writing downer bummer comments haha. Cheers

  4. Michael September 11, 2013 at 9:11 am

    This is terrible journalism. Simply elevating a pipe dream without a single scientific reaction? Please find me a single scientist or marine biologist who thinks this would work.

    One of a dozen minor problems: the particles are suspended in a column of several hundred feet of water, not floating at the top. Oops.

    • C. Wolf September 11, 2013 at 10:03 am

      How does the Haterade taste? Bitter much?

    • Nam September 11, 2013 at 10:35 am

      But if you take off the surface the rest under would go up…

    • Jason Ryder September 11, 2013 at 7:20 pm

      And what solution have you come up with, Skippy?

  5. Diana Paez September 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Wow, kudos to this brilliant kid!


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