Boyan Slat believes he has a viable solution, that will cost and time effective. But who is he?
Boyan Slat, now 21, is a Dutch entrepreneur and inventor. He is the founder and CEO of the Ocean Cleanup. He has been recognized as one of the 20 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs worldwide, and was crowned 2014 Champion of the Earth.
Boyan dedicated much of his teenage years to fulfilling his self-appointed mission of getting rid of the ocean’s plastic. The idea came to him at the age of 16, summer of 2011, when diving in Greece. He was shocked, at the mass amount of plastic bags that outnumbered the fish. He was even more shocked to find that there was no apparent solution. “Everyone said to me: ‘Oh there’s nothing you can do about plastic…show more content… The high school project was awarded Best Technical Design at Delft University of Technology. For most it would have ended there, but not Slat. From a young age engineering excited him, he went from building tree houses, to zip wires, to gaining the Guinness World Record for the most water rockets launched at the same time: 213, from a sports in Delft. “The experience taught me how to get people crazy enough to do things you want, and how to approach sponsors.”, (Slat). Skills, that would become helpful in his endeavour to the clean-up the ocean.
In February 2013 he dropped out of his Aerospace Engineering study to start the Ocean Cleanup, so that he could focus full force on the project. In June 2014, after leading an international team of 100 scientists and engineers for a year, the concept was deemed possible both technologically and finically, and able to clean-up The Great Garbage Patch in 10 years, to bring this dream to reality, he created a crowd funding campaign, that brought in a near $2.2 million. With the funds they desperately craved the pilot phase was initiated.
The basic idea is to attach a V-shaped system, composed of barriers, to the sea floor. “We let the plastic concentrate itself, creating a 65-mile artificial coastline, where plastic gets diverted to the centre of these V-shaped barriers.”, (Slat). As currents push plastic toward the barriers, the V-shape directs them to the centres where a solar-powered system gobbles up