20-year old Boyan Slat has designed the Ocean Cleanup Array, a mechanism which can help cleaning up the ocean by removing plastic pollution. With his ambitious effort Slat intends to free the Pacific of its plastic debris within a decade.
8 million tons of plastic reach the oceans every year. Instead of a technique which involves a never-ending garbage hunt Slant has come up with an ingenious method so that the ocean will clean itself. The plan is to place huge floating barriers in key tidal locations round the globe. The barriers are called gyres and their purpose is to let the plastic debris flow naturally into capture. The gyres are not nets in which fish could get tangles in, but big buffers in the shape of letter V which are anchored by floating booms. The water current would flow underneath the booms and thus animals do not risk to be harmed.
Slat said that one of the most urgent environmental challenges is taking care of the debris in the world’s oceans. He claims that his invention will not only clean waters and coasts, but it will at the same time contribute to cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The system can pick up garbage 7.900 times faster than other methods and moreover it is 33 times cheaper.
This ocean cleaning-system developed by Slant’s Ocean Cleanup NGO is the first of this kind which was ever invented. It will be deployed in 2016 and it will be placed near Tsushima, the Japanese island, which lies between Nagasaki and South Korea. The system will measure 6.500 feet in width which makes it the longest floating system which was ever placed in the ocean. If everything goes well more such systems will be placed around the world.
The young Danish inventor confessed:
“I’ve always been interested in technology, and I was launching rockets at 12 years old. Eventually I started studying aerospace engineering, but I dropped out to try to develop this ocean clean up idea”.
He explained that he came up with this idea when he was on holiday in Greece and while he was driving he noticed that he came across more plastic garbage than fish. Then he focused on finding a way to make the ocean clean immediately crossed his mind. So he found an environmentally-friendly solution to collect the debris and send it to a place on land where it can be recycled.
Image Source: One Green Planet