Breaking News & Updates

19-year-old inventor finds way to clean up the world’s oceans in under 5 years time

By Jack Taylor on March 27, 2013 10:32 pm

Ocean Cleanup Array Boyan Slat 706x369 19 year old inventor finds way to clean up the worlds oceans in under 5 years time

Previously the idea of cleaning up the world’s oceans with their vast accumulations of disposed plastic material was considered an impossibility. Now a 19-year-old inventor says he and his foundation has a way to clean up the world’s oceans, and not only does he say we can do it, but that we can do it in five years time and produce a profit from it.

It is called the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ or sometimes the “Pacific Trash Vortex”, and it is a massive collection of plastic particles accumulating in the Pacific. Other oceans have their own collections of plastic wastes as well; furthermore, most of the debris in our oceans are plastic materials that accounts for approximately 90% of all the waste debris.

Scientists have considered all manner of ways how the debris could be retrieved but there was no clear answer for it.

Now a 19-year-old inventor by the name of Boyan Slat says we can remove nearly 20 billion tons of plastic waste with his concept he calls an ocean cleanup array. It is made from a massive series of floating booms and processing platforms that gradually suck in the floating plastic like a giant funnel.

The angle with how the array is set up allows all of the plastic to go to where the platforms processing centers are floating. At the platform processing area it would separate the naturally occurring life such as plankton an only keep the plastic materials to be recycled.

plastic pollution indian patch 19 year old inventor finds way to clean up the worlds oceans in under 5 years time
plastic pollution indian patch 19 year old inventor finds way to clean up the worlds oceans in under 5 years time

What is most impressive about the array is that once it goes operational it would clean up the oceans in only 5 years time! He also makes a point in saying that due to the vastness of our oceans most do not know how badly polluted the oceans really are.

“One of the problems with preventive work is that there isn’t any imagery of these ‘garbage patches’, because the debris is dispersed over millions of square kilometers,” Slat says on his website. “By placing our arrays however, it will accumulate along the booms, making it suddenly possible to actually visualize the oceanic garbage patches. We need to stress the importance of recycling, and reducing our consumption of plastic packaging.”

 8 19 year old inventor finds way to clean up the worlds oceans in under 5 years time

Slat was able to come up with the idea while in school, and so he wrote a paper on his concept. Once Slat’s paper was published it immediately caught the attention of many marine experts. His paper won all manner of prizes, which included the Best Technical Design 2012 from the Delft University of Technology.

When he and others realized that the concept would work he took a leap of faith and created a non-profit organization he calls The Ocean Cleanup Foundation. This group will focus on the goal of developing his invention, raise funds for it and make it operational as soon as possible. His concept would save numerous aquatic species of fish and help reduce PCB and DDT containments affecting all of us. Best of all it operates on the power of the sun and by the oceans themselves.

Not only is Slat’s concept self-powered, it would also be very profitable from the all the recycling, which is estimated in the amount of 500 million dollars (U.S.) per year. According to Slat’s website it “would make in fact more money than the plan would cost to execute. In other words; it’s profitable.”

Jack Taylor is an accomplished writer who works as a freelance journalist and has contributed to many award winning media agencies, which includes VRzone. Born in 1971, Taylor holds a Bachelor of Science with a focus in Journalism, graduating Magna Cum Laude. An eclectic writer, Taylor specializes in editorials, trending technologies and controversial topics such as hacktivism and government spying.



  1. Of course there's a way to clean up some of the mess. Awesome.I'm still concerned about the Fukushima contamination and the 28,000 barrels of radioactive waste dumped into the English Channel, (recently found by fisherman, thought to be corroded away already. Dumped by British Companies involved in the nuclear industry.)The Hanford NUclear Reservation is leaking the worst material known to man right next to the Columbia River and there is no known way to process this sludge yet. The idea was to have a plan by 2040 and processing by 2060. Too late.Many of our nuclear power plants are reaching their life expectancy and what will be done with these plants?Good on this young man. Shame on the corporations and so called experts.

  2. I would just like to add that I think we need to stop all garbage dumping in the oceans first. I remember medical waste on the beaches of California. Shame on them and the regulatora that allow it.Second, we need to find natural products to take the place of plastic, maybe corn cellulose since it's no good for eating anymore. hemp fiber too, anything but petroleum. This could create more sustainable jobs as well.Not to distract from this young mans idea but it shouldn't be neccessary in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>