Boyan Slat is a Dutch entrepreneur and inventor known for his environmental project “The Ocean Cleanup”. His concern for the marine environment during his youth was sparked by a family trip to Greece, where he was shocked to see the coastline covered in floating plastic waste.
In 2013, as a 19-year-old student, he unveiled a design plan called “the Ocean Cleanup” aimed at using a fixed system that would collect floating plastic using ocean currents. The project received support and attention from people worldwide after its launch. Many environmental organizations and institutions also provided him with funding and technical support.
After years of research and testing, in 2018, The Ocean Cleanup launched the first ocean garbage collection system called System 001. This system is a massive U-shaped structure consisting of hundreds of buoys and a tens-of-metres-long sea anchor to capture ocean plastic waste. Although the initial trials faced some challenges, the system successfully collected hundreds of kilograms of plastic waste.
In 2021, System 002 was finally designed, manufactured and tested in the northern Pacific. This version is more complex, efficient and can capture ocean plastic waste more effectively. According to The Ocean Cleanup’s estimate, System 002 can capture at least 10,000 tons of plastic waste per year and can operate for longer periods.
His project has inspired young people worldwide, particularly those in science and technology fields, to get involved in taking action to solve global environmental issues. His success story shows us that a small idea and effort can bring about enormous change.
Boyan Slat and his team hope that through this system, people worldwide can see the severity of the problem of ocean plastic waste and promote an increase in environmental awareness. They believe that only through global cooperation and innovative technology can we solve environmental issues.