I feel like I’m pretty late with this but today I stumbled across this video about The Ocean Cleanup project.
I’ve heard of this before, that a young man from the Netherlands developed something that would filter the plastic out of the ocean in an easy and eco-friendly way but I never really researched this myself. So today, I researched briefly because I was very curious after watching this video. What is the story of this project?
It seems like it started with a TED Talk of the then 18-year-old Boyan Slat. He had this vision to clean up the ocean by fishing out the plastic.
5 years later, after tons of research, lots of crowd funding, and building up a team of over 80 engineers, researchers, scientists and computational modelers, The Ocean Cleanup could go into production. On September 8th 2018 the first cleanup system was finally launched into the North Pacific.
In another TED Talk I heard that the plastic in the ocean is like a sink that is flooding. It doesn’t help much to clean up the water on the ground, you have to turn off the faucet. In this context that would mean to stop the production of plastic first and then cleaning up what is laying/swimming around on landfills and in the oceans. But since it can take so long until laws change to force companies to produce less to no plastic (besides the possibility that the consumer avoids buying plastic as much as possible) it seems to be such a wonderful project to me. The Ocean Cleanup Foundation expects 50% less plastic in the ocean within 5 years, which I can barely believe. So I decided to write about this project so that others not familiar might become interested in knowing more and maybe even support The Ocean Cleanup.
And here’s a whole documentary about the project:
It’s just a very short blog post about the whole thing but it’s important to me to talk about this discovery and help spread the word, at least this little bit 🙂