There are millions of tons of harmful plastic debris polluting our world’s oceans. This scourge is killing hundreds of thousands – maybe even millions – of aquatic animals annually and its fouling may spread harmful algae and other invasive species. Furthermore, it serves as a transport medium for pollutants (including PCB and DDT) to accumulate in the food chain.
Boyan Slat has been paying attention to our ocean’s woes and has dreamed up a possible solution for the pollution – an Ocean Cleanup. A series of self-sufficient platforms connected by floating booms will be placed at areas of high concentration – called gyres – to halt the movement of the plastic and other junk.
Why move through the oceans, if the oceans can move through you?
Fix the sea water processors to the sea bed, and save vast amounts of funds, manpower and emissions.
By using floating booms instead of nets, much larger areas will covered. No mesh means that even the smallest particles will be diverted and extracted. No mesh – together with its low speed – will result to virtually no by-catch. Although this hypothesis still has to be tested, even the planktonic species – due to their density being close to that of the sea water – may move under the booms along with the water flow.
The platforms will be completely self-supportive, receiving their energy from e.g. the sun, currents and waves. And by letting the platforms’ wings sway like an actual manta ray, we can ensure contacts of the inlets with the surface, even in the roughest weather.
This concept is so efficient, that we estimate that by selling the plastic retrieved from the 5 gyres, we would make in fact more money than the plan would cost to execute. In other words; it may potentially be profitable.