The ambitious plan imagined by a young Dutch student in 2012 is finally launching through a first prototype in the Northern sea.

Celia Tholozan   04 July 2016 13:22 - Boyan Slat was 17 when he went scuba diving in Greece and noticed that during his first dive, he actually saw more plastic than fish in the water. He started with an idea that became an obsession, and thanks to his persistence, a dream that came to fruition: The Ocean Clean-up Project.

Through the help of the Dutch Government along with the group Boskalis, specialised in maritime services, one and a half million euros were collected for the project. It allowed the young entrepreneur to build the first prototype of its project, which was installed recently 23 kilometres away from the Dutch coast in the Northern sea.

The Ocean Clean-up consists of a filtering barrier tied up to the seabed: it’s basically a large “curtain” suspended on water thanks to a series of floats. The giant curtain can support up to 80 tons and is made out of a special kind of material that catches the small pieces of plastic, responsible for the water pollution.

The resistance of the material is key: now launched close to the coasts, it is easy to fix but the actual final project will be settle in the earth of the Pacific Ocean. It will thus be very hard (and costly) to access. The current prototype is located at its current point in the Northern sea due to hosting some of the world's strongest currents.. If it can resist it, it could resist anything according to its inventor.

Many scientists remain sceptical about the project and criticise it. Even if the Ocean Clean-up isn’t working as well as originally hoped for, at least an attempt was made and it could inspire others to take action in saving the environment. Congrats to Boyan Slat, an inspiring personality representative of a generation willing to see actual changes.



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