Boyan Slat, the Dutch inventor and entrepreneur, is CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, a NGO he founded in 2013 when he was 18 years old. On September 8, his organisation launched System 001, a massive bow-shaped floating boom, as a test of its ability to collect plastic ⇐ in the ocean.

System 001 is a hollow, plastic (polyethylene)  cylinder 600 metres (~2000 ft) long by 1.2 metres (~4 ft) in diameter. It has a three-metre deep skirt (made of sturdy polyester) dangling beneath the boom to prevent litter from escaping under it.

The boom is driven by the current, waves and wind, and always moves faster relative to the plastic, which is carried by the current only. It therefore scoops up the litter as it drifts.

It’s reckoned that half the Pacific Garbage Patch (see National Geographic’s encyclopedia entry) could be collected in five years, and the majority of the oceans’ plastic debris by 2040, if the further 60 booms planned ($5 million each) are built and deployed. ?   All of us need to act now to reduce plastic waste, which is growing ? – also, see our post, Plastic is not the worst pollutant .  


Read more about System 001 in the Guardian and the New York Times.

Look at Boyan Slat’s TEDx talk below, or study Ocean Cleanup’s technology and how System 001 works.  Discover this frugal solution of how to use constructively plastic waste .

18-year-old Boyan Slat combines environmentalism, entrepreneurism and technology to tackle global issues of sustainability. After diving in Greece, and coming across more plastic bags than fish, he wondered; “why can’t we clean this up?”

Look at his TEDx talk of 24 Oct 2012 in Delft, Holland.

Ocean Cleanup’s Technology presentation on System 001 and how it works.

See the Ocean Cleanup site