19-Year-Old Invents Way To Clean The Ocean Of Plastic Garbage

Senior Contributor
03.27.13 2 Comments

One of the ongoing environmental disasters you may or may not be aware of is all the plastic crap floating in the oceans. There’s literally tons of it and, fun fact, it’s slowly poisoning us. Boyan Slat, though, a 19-year-old college student, has a fairly innovative idea to solve the problem.

Essentially, he’ll use large booms and giant funnels to do the job:

The device consists of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms that could be dispatched to garbage patches around the world. Instead of moving through the ocean, the array would span the radius of a garbage patch, acting as a giant funnel. The angle of the booms would force plastic in the direction of the platforms, where it would be separated from plankton, filtered and stored for recycling.

Slat’s Ocean Cleanup Array would do a lot more than just keep organic pollutants out of your sushi. Millions of dollars in tourism could be collected and a lot of boat damage could be stopped by hauling all this plastic crap out of the water.

Of course, this solution has to be built: Currently it’s just some clever engineering on paper and some computer models. But, hey, that’s what Kickstarter is for, right?

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