Remember the teen who unveiled an ambitious plan to clean up the plastic floating in the world’s oceans? Well, his invention is set to be deployed in 2016.
After completing a $2 million crowdfunding campaign last September, he is ready to launch the project off the coast of Tsushima Island, between the East China Sea and Sea of Japan.
The system of solar-powered floating booms and processing platforms were dreamed up by Boyan Slat when he was a 19-year-old first-year Aerospace Engineering student at TU Delft University in the Netherlands.
The 6,500 foot boom will be the longest floating structure ever put to sea and will spend at least two years collecting plastic trash floating in the Korea Strait.
People on the island are also looking into the possibility of using the plastic waste recovered by the system as an alternative fuel source.
A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last year estimated there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans. Slat believes his system can collect almost half of this 77,000 tons of plastic within just 10 years.
His organization, The Ocean Cleanup, plans to deploy increasingly larger booms culminating in a 62 mile-long system that will tackle the Great Pacific Garbage Patch between Hawaii and California.
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