Boyan Slat is a engineering student from the Netherlands who has come up with a creative method for cleaning up the oceanic gyres.
This area is often referred to as the Garbage Patch a swirling plastic soup that covers a massive area of the central oceans, poisoning marine life, sea birds and endangering the food chain, of which we are all a part.
Having combined data and conferred with oceanic specialists from around the world Boyan’s estimate for the of amount of plastic floating in the Gyres is 7,250,000,000 KG or 7.25 million tons.
His design could potentially clean up large swaths of the ocean Garbage Patch using floating booms that redirect direct the flow of debris into a centrifuge, rather than using a net system to cover wide areas, indiscriminately catching marine life.
This method creates virtually no by-catch of fish or other living organisms as they would be able to move around the obstacle. Ocean currents would push plastic debris toward the centrifuge cleanup platforms anchored to the seabed.
Run on sustainable power from the sun, currents, and waves this would be a self supportive system with no emissions or use of polluting fuels.
Boyan estimates this project could be funded by the re-sale of the gathered plastic materials back to plastic producers. He also noted that to effect real change there needs to be less focus on money driving the need for change.
Please take a moment to watch Boyan Slat’s presentation on TEDX 2012:
As of today this project is truly in its infancy and they are only 25% of the way through completing their feasibility study.
They are looking for specialists in engineering, oceanography, economics, recycling and maritime law to help complete this study.
If you think you can help please follow this link to make contact. Boyan Slat
The Ocean Cleanup Array was awarded Best Technical Design at the Delft University of Technology and came in second place at the iSea Clash of the Concepts sustainable innovation award.