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19-year-old’s Cleanup Array concept – Could rid the oceans of plastic waste in just five years

A 19-year-old, Boyan Slat, has unveiled plans to create an Ocean Cleanup Array that could possibly remove 7,250,000,000 kg of plastic waste from the world’s oceans. Boyan Slat, is an aerospace engineering student at the Delft University of Technology. His idea was developed for a student project in aerospace engineering. It is an ingenious vision of shortening a projection of 79,000 years of ocean cleanup to just 5 years.

Cleanup Array concept - cleaning ocean plastic wastes

The Ocean Cleanup Project aims to utilize the oceans’ natural gyres to collect plastic the waste. Ocean gyres are large systems of rotating ocean currents. There five circular ocean currents around the world – two in the Atlantic, two in the Pacific, and one in the Indian ocean, and Boyan Slat’s cleanup array concept intends to make use of all five.

In a sort of way,  the ocean will clean itself with the aid of this concept. The concept combines environmentalism, technology, and some innovative outlook to clean our oceans of plastic wastes.

The design consists of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms, which can dispatched to garbage patches around the world. Instead of moving through the ocean, the array would span the radius of a garbage patch, acting as a giant funnel. The angle of the booms would force plastic in the direction of the platforms, where it would be separated from plankton, filtered and stored for recycling.

Yes, you read it correctly. Plastics collected will be recycled, which makes the project more promising. Because when it comes to funding the project, investors will most likely invest on its profitability rather than just cleaning the oceans.

Boyan Slat’s team are currently doing a feasibility study on the concept. The team expects to have the feasibility study published online by the end of the year.

Must watch the TED Talk video below, hear and learn the future that he sees possible.

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