While most of at 16 were still figuring what to take up in college and trying to get our life in some direction, this 16 year old was busy tying to help save our planet.
Boyan Slat, a youngster was taking a dive in 2011 on a holiday in Greece discovered that there was more plastic than fish in the ocean, and since then Boyan took it on him to find a solution to this widespread problem and help save our environment.
It is known that about 8 million tonnes of plastic is produced in the ocean each year which is definitely a lot and an issue we should all be concerned about. Most of don’t really realise the importance of the ocean that helps regulate the climate and also produce oxygen.
Troubled by this, Boyan started finding ways to help save the environment. He built a design and started the “Ocean Clean Up Project” as a part of his science assignment. He made a design that would help in creating artificial coastlines in the middle of the sea. Thus in order to focus on his mission to help clean up the ocean he quit university after six months. But he then realised that his brilliant idea was really difficult to sell and he did not have enough money.
Boyan tried to work really hard looking for sponsorships from various companies but was only turned down. He then started a crowd funder where he raised close to $2 million dollar to build the entire prototype of his design in 100 days.
He also discovered that the plastic currently in the ocean is carried by currents and ends up congregating in five revolving water systems, known as gyres according to brightvibes.com.
While the most being concentrated between Hawaii and California, which is known to contain at least 1/3rd of oceanic plastic, making this the point of focus for the “The Ocean Cleanup Project” in 2020.
While most of us are very curious to know how the entire process works, a this video explains it clearly. A v-shaped barrier is placed perpendicular to the ocean currents in order to collect as much plastic as possible. This 100 km floating object needs to be anchored at a depth that’s never been reached before. Thus the project uses the most advance technology called “Dyneema” which is known to be 15 times stronger than steel. The entire technology is built by DSM. Every four to six weeks the plastic is collected by a ship from a storage facility at the tip of the barrier.
The waste produced is then converted into re-used, recycled material.
Boyant’s efforts have really proven that the world can be a better place if we all work towards it.