1. WATCH: How this 22-year-old Dutch engineer is cleaning up oceans and saving the world

WATCH: How this 22-year-old Dutch engineer is cleaning up oceans and saving the world

A 22-year-old Dutchman is determined to change the world for the better and his efforts have grabbed the eyeballs of some of the biggest investors in the world.

By: | Updated: May 1, 2017 12:48 PM
Water covers more than 70 percent of the earth, and most of it is comprised of oceans. These oceans, incidentally are covered by trillions of tonnes of plastic and it is threatening the sea life more than ever. (Image: Reuters)

A 22-year-old Dutchman is determined to change the world for the better and his efforts have grabbed the eyeballs of some of the biggest investors in the world. Boyan Slat, when he was just 17 years of age, had started a firm called The Ocean Cleanup. As it is clear by the name of the company, it is attempting to curb one of the biggest problems facing the earth. Water covers more than 70 percent of the earth, and most of it is comprised of oceans. These oceans, incidentally are covered by trillions of tonnes of plastic and it is threatening the sea life more than ever. The worsening conditions of animals living under the sea will eventually hamper the whole environment and also affect humans unless immediate measures are taken. Slat’s firm is making efforts ing that direction, but it is an overwhelming task.

The effort to rid the oceans of the trillions of tonnes of plastic and other matter is an audacious attempt. The Ocean Cleanup foundation that plans to remove plastic from the seas using a device spread across miles. While the project has brought in a lot of funding, it has also attracted several scientific scepticisms. However, the most interesting thing is the whole process which Slat is using for the cleanup. While, the methods generally used earlier, included a long and tiring process of using boats and nets to collect the debris. Meanwhile, Slat’s vision includes, long-distance floating barriers attached to the seabeds. They will target rotating ocean currents full of plastic. This means the method will skim the waste and bring them at one place. The plastic will then be trapped, removed and sent to recycling centres.


Slat, an inventor from Netherlands, had founded the startup in the year 2013. A World Economic Forum report said that his system is reportedly being tested and could start fully functioning in a few years. He plans to clean up at least half the plastic in The Great Pacific Patch, between California and Hawaii, which is the largest in the world, according to World Economic Forum.

Boyan Slat (Pic: Facebook)

According to various reports, the innovative solution has got the attention of major philanthropists in Europe and Silicon Valley. Slat has also managed to raise a huge amount through crowdsourcing too. They have been helping fund the development efforts for the technology.

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