“The children are our future” has been repeated countless times over the course of history, and 19 year old Boyan Slat has every intention of making sure it’s not said in vain. This Delft University of Technology student is the mad genius behind the Ocean Cleanup Array, a device of his own design that could remove an estimated 7.25 million tons of trash from the ocean without the use of costly — and risky, in terms of safety — manpower.
The device is comprised of a network of anchored floating platforms and booms that span the radius of every oceanic garbage patch, essentially acting as a giant funnel. The booms’ angles would direct trash toward the platforms, where it would be extracted from the sea, separated and filtered, and stored for future recycling.
Slat’s concept came from a project he began that analyzed the sizes and quantities of plastic particles in the ocean, for which his research paper on the project earned him Best Technical Design 2012 at Delft University of Technology. He revealed his design to the world for the first time at TEDxDelft 2012 after spending the summer developing the concept.
Slat also began the Ocean Cleanup Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that will fund the development of his designs. The time frame for the cleanup using his technology has been estimated to be roughly 5 years, but the awareness of the issue will be increased by multitudes as the project gathers momentum, effectively beginning the process of ending ocean litter and changing the way the world views plastic consumption.
Check out his inspiring speech at TEDxDelft Talk and see for yourself the future our children have in store for us.
Image via boyanslat.com