Boyan Slat is a Dutch inventor and entrepreneur known for founding The Ocean Cleanup, a company that develops technology to clean the world’s oceans of plastic. In February 2013, he dropped out of his aerospace engineering study to start The Ocean Cleanup and by June 2016, the first cleanup prototype was deployed.
Since starting, Boyan and his company have received incredible amounts of attention. Forbes included him in their 30 under 30 edition in 2016, and Reader’s Digest chose him as European of the Year in 2017. Boyan is also the youngest-ever recipient of the UN’s highest environmental accolade; Champion of the Earth. The project was also chosen by TIME magazine as one of the 25 best inventions of 2015!
The driving concept behind The Ocean Cleanup is to let the oceans do the work of collecting the trash for us. By utilizing installations of U-shaped screens to channel floating plastic to a central collection point via the tide. (photo) The concentrated plastics can then be extracted and shipped to shore for recycling into durable products. This design drastically increases cleanup times; a job that would have taken thousands of years is now looking to be completed in several decades.
Boyan and his team are on the forefront of his field, making new advancements and discoveries every day. On May 11, 2017, Boyan announced the Ocean Cleanup will start extracting plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within the next 12 months. Thanks to an improved design, the Ocean Cleanup has increased the efficiency of the system, allowing for the cleanup of half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just 5 years. The Ocean Cleanup has announced that part of its first cleanup system is already in production.
To stay up to date with Boyan and the Ocean Cleanup project, you can visit their website or follow the Superthrive twitter for updates!