Picture source: The Ocean Cleanup
Courage, Persistence and a Visionary Idea: Why We Support The Ocean Cleanup Project
Plastic waste in the oceans is a huge problem. With his Ocean Cleanup Project, the young Dutchman Boyan Slat has set himself the task of actively approaching this problem. We are impressed by his determination and innovative power and have been supporting the project since last year. Time to tell the story.
More Plastic Than Fish?
Five trillion plastic parts are currently floating in the ocean. However this figure can be quantified, it sounds frightening. In the long run, the plastic pieces decompose into microplastics and cause fatal damage to our ecosystem. In addition to marine life, humans are also affected along the food chain.
What remains is the question of what to do about it. It would not be possible to collect and transport each piece individually, neither affordably nor temporally. For many, however, simply giving up the ocean is – fortunately – not an option. Dutchman Boyan Slat has decided not to give in to helplessness and act instead. He made this decision at the age of only 17. Two years later, in 2013, he founded the Ocean Cleanup Project. With a team of now up to 100 researchers and engineers, he has continued to experiment and develop an ingenious system. The technology is mainly based on U-shaped plastic hoses. These hoses, held by weights on the seabed, float on the sea surface and bundle the garbage with the help of natural ocean currents in the middle, where it can be skimmed off after some time. In other words, the sea collects its own garbage.
Mission 1 Creates a Stir
After the first prototype had been successfully deployed, the first major marine clean-up mission with “System 001” – also affectionately called “Wilson” – was launched in 2018. It started with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch between Hawaii and California, the largest of the five large plastic waste fields. Its estimated size is 1.6 million square kilometers. The goal is to eliminate 50 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just five years. Since the beginning of the mission, continuous improvements have been made to the system to make it more effective.
When we at bluetelligence first heard about the Ocean Cleanup Project, we were thrilled. Boyan Slat’s persistence, his passion and last but not least his visionary solution impressed us very much. So it was easy to decide to donate a €5,000 start-up grant to the Ocean Cleanup Project in the spring of 2018. In addition, we have been supporting the project with 10 € per employee and month ever since. Boyan Slat acts sustainably. We at bluetelligence can identify with this. Long-term, resource-saving solutions and persistence in implementing visions are not only important to us in product development. In addition, just like the well-known African saying, we believe that many small people in many small places who do many small things can change the face of the world. This starts with the switch to glass bottles in the office kitchen, for example, and continues with electric company cars and, finally, donations to great projects like this. Of course, we continue getting inspired in this respect and hope to inspire others to help preserve our environment.
Making a Difference
If you would like to make a donation to support the project, you can do so directly on the Ocean Cleanup Project Website. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!