Finally the Ocean Cleanup project has started for real. Boyan Slats, the genius behind the idea, has achieved his dream of helping collecting plastic in the water in order to save the environment. Boyan Slats was only 16 years old when he realized that he needed to help clean up the ocean and 18 when he got the world to listen to what he had to say about it. Now five years later, it’s all about to happen.Thanks to the visions of his environmental-friendly NGO in The Netherlands, people have contributed with funds and volunteered to help figure out how to make this a reality.
If You’re Going to San Francisco…
Outside San Francisco, a 600 meter long barrier is being put into the water towards one of the Pacific Ocean’s biggest garbage area, between USA and Hawaii. The barrier will turn into a u-formation by help of waves, winds and underwater-forces. It will then collect all the plastic. A curtain lies below the surface that collects the garbage but lets fish pass by. In order for the cleanup project to not get in the way of the marine traffic, it’s all driven by solar energy.
What Goes Around Comes Around
The purpose of the cleanup project is to hinder the plastic from reaching the bottom of the ocean, where it’s hard to reach. After two weeks of testing, the project is about to start. Within 6 months, it has been said that the first garbages they find, will be able to be sold and turned into recycling. Boyan Slates is counting on the recycling process to fund the whole project.
Short-term Goals and Long-term Goals
If the test succeed, the idea is to place 60 more of these u-formations around the world within two years. About 80,000 tons of plastic is estimated to be floating around in the ocean, according to a new report. Almost half of it consists of fishnet which is dangerous for fish as well as other animals. Five years from now, the goal is to have cleaned up half of the garbage that lies in the water. And before 2040, the goal is to have cleaned up 90% of it.
What the Critics Say
Everyone is not happy about the project, though. Some scientists believe that the Ocean Cleanup can disturb the marine life, while others are sceptical and don’t believe that people will stop throwing plastic in the water. But let’s face it, isn’t it worth testing if we can save the environment and thus make the planet a better place for us to live on?