Could a teenager save the world's oceans? Student, 19, claims his invention could clean up the seas in just five years

Boyan Slat, 19, a Dutch teenager, has come up with an invention that just might help save our oceans from the modern plaque of plastic debris - something no-one else has been able to do yet.. The engineering student believes that once his device is operational, it could dramatically reduce the amount of plastic in the oceans in just five years time.

Currently millions of tons of plastic waste is littering the oceans and is directly killing millions of aquatic animals annually. But aside from the high toll of marine animal death it also spreads and introduces harmful algae and invasive species as well as man-made pollutants into the food chain. This is costing governments and organizations millions of dollars to clean up every year.

Slat came up with the idea of a series of floating booms and processing platforms designed to collect floating plastic rubbish. The 'ocean cleanup' concept is designed to capture the floating plastic but allow life like plankton and other marine animals to pass through unharmed, all the while saving the plastic materials to be recycled.

The booms act as giant funnels where the angle of the booms effectively 'suck' rubbish in. Once the debris enters the platforms, it will be filtered out of the water and eventually stored in containers until collected for recycling on land. The great advantage of using booms instead of nets is that marine life cannot be caught in them. This way oceans could clean themselves cheaply by harnessing currents.

In addition to cleaning the oceans, he also proposes fixing sea water processors to the sea bed, which are also attached to the floating platform so that the water can move through them and generate energy. Boyan Slat also believes his invention could make up to $500 million a year from recycling the waste collected, making it profitable too.

He still stresses that people need to do their part by continuing recycling, and reducing their consumption of plastic packaging. Slat has now set up The Ocean Cleanup Foundation to help raise funds to develop his innovation. We wish him well.


Responses to "Teenager's invention could possibly cleanup the Ocean's plastic pollution problems (Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sounds great! How soon can it be tested?

  2. sharan says:

    Hopefully it would work in cleaning up polluted rivers as well

  3. Anonymous says:

    we need to test this NOW!! fund this and not the bombing of Syria dear President!

  4. Anonymous says:

    terrific! great to see the young people are thinking of our environment and trying to do something about it. I really hope he succeeds because older generations still haven't yet come up with a solution and cant see them coming up with a better one than this. Well done!

  5. Anonymous says:

    why doesn't al gore get behind something like this instead of investing in windmills to sell to an unsupecting public.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What a brilliant idea. Why are the huge corporations not working with this young man to make a viable prototype to show to the world. Its about time theyounger generation were listened to! Good luck Boyan xx

  7. Anonymous says:

    sounds great in theory... he says nothing about how they work or the cost of building one. The kid sounds way too confident....lots of Al Gore hot air

  8. Anonymous says:

    and optimist believes that this is the best of all worlds, a pessimist fears that may be so !

  9. Anonymous says:

    solar power & windmills have nopollution... why we do not have these already.... greedy corp. america

  10. Anonymous says:

    I really hope his invention works!!!! The human race is a disaster. We would have a lot better world if ALL people would take care of it. Braindead individuals who throw garbage everywhere, companies throwing their waste to save money or simply don't care.....

  11. Anonymous says:

    What a brilliant idea! It is important that we support this young man to proceed with his prototype. Why don't we just start by sending money to his foundation instead of discussing things we cannot change or simply don't know?

  12. Anonymous says:

    the idea sounds nice, but it really doesnt explain how the mechanism of extraction works, and I fear that it may be damaging for the living beings in the ocean: attaching to the sea bed? the sucking of the rubbish?
    sounds nice, hope he gets money for the building up of one so that it can be tested.

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