Our seas and oceans are polluted by millions of tons of plastic debris, and this number is rising with each passing year. This plastic reaches the sea through rivers and waterways and accumulates in places known as ‘gyres’. There a five known gyres in the world, two in the Great Ocean, two in the Atlantic Ocean and one in the Indian Ocean. A Dutch student has thought up an innovative way of cleaning up those gyres, the ocean cleanup project. I want to share his ideas with you and just help a little by promoting his project.
The name of this student is Boyan Slat and I came across his ideas while catching up on some internet reading. After reading the article I immediately went to his Facebook page to ‘like’ it and stay tuned to news about this impressive project. And I’m not the only one who was impressed. In 2012, The Ocean Cleanup Array has been awarded Best Technical Design at the Delft University of Technology, and became second at the iSea Clash of the Concepts sustainable innovation award by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. Quite an achievement and they are still going strong. Recently they raised $89,518 to finance their feasibility study through a crowd funding platform. To be clear, they are still investigating if the idea is feasible.
Now that I got your attention, you’ll be asking yourselves : ”That sounds all very impressive, but what is that project about? And how does he think to gather all that plastic already swarming the seas?” With other words:
How does it work?
The Ocean Cleanup Array wants to use the ocean to their advantage. By letting the rotating currents transport all plastic debris to the so called gyres. With The Ocean Cleanup Array, an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms will span the radius of such a gyre. These booms act as giant 'funnels', where an angle of the booms create a component of the surface current force in the direction of the platforms. The debris then enters the platforms, where it will be filtered out of the water, and eventually stored in containers until collected for recycling on land.
Follow the links given and you can read more about the whole project and the current feasibility study. If you want to actively stay tuned to information, follow their Facebook page.
Personally I hope they succeed and are able to bring this idea into reality. I hope this post helps them out a bit. The more people are aware of the poor situation of our oceans and how people are coming up with innovative ideas to clean them up, then where still not lost.
Till the next story!