Meet The 21 Year Old Entrepreneur Trying To Rid Our Oceans of Plastic

Each year about 9 million tons of plastic are dumped into the world’s oceans – enough to fill a football stadium 23 miles high. But a project dubbed the Ocean Cleanup aims to eliminate it with a method that researchers are testing in the North Sea.

The leader of this revolutionary project is Boyan Slat and he is a 21 year old activist from the Netherlands. After years of research, working with a team of nearly 100 people, Boyan Slat is finally putting his ideas to work.

As reported by Eco Watch, nearly 8 million tons of plastic is introducing into our life-giving ocean every single year and much of this plastic is carried by ocean currents and has been accumulating in 5 major areas.

Chief among these areas is the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”, a collection of trash, debris and plastic in a remote portion of the Pacific Ocean estimated to be nearly the size of Texas. There is an estimated 5.25 trillion plastic pieces floating around in our oceans in general and nearly one third of this is located within the great pacific garbage patch alone.

100’s of thousand of marine mammals and +1 million seabirds die every single year because of the plastic pollution and the longer term survival 100’s of different species depends on humanities ability to clean up the trash we have spent centuries throwing in to the ocean.

If you watched the Vice video above you will notice how the researches skimmed the top of the ocean as their boat cruised along and you saw the plastic they picked up doing so. Now watch the video below about how whales feed – some by skimming the top of the ocean just as the researches above.

Combing the two videos and thinking of the consequences is extremely disturbing, at least to me. As reported by True Activist, “whales have been showing up dead on multiple beaches, bringing us a message with stomachs full of plastic. For example, in the summer of July 2013 a sperm whale was stranded on Tershelling, a Northern island in the Netherlands. The whale had swallowed 56 different plastic items that totalled over 37 pounds. In April 2010 a gray whale died after stranding itself on a West Seattle beach, it was found to have over 20 plastic bags, small towels, surgical gloves, plastic pieces, duct tape, and more in its system. And in March of 2013, a dead sperm whale washed up on Spain’s South coast which had swallowed 17kg of plastic waste. The list goes on and on.” READ FULL ARTICLE HERE:

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) it is estimated that the plastic pollution is “causing around $13 billion of damage every year to the fishing, shipping, tourism and local clean up industries.” According to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)  the United States is spending “around $500 million every year just to clean up the beaches” and in general, “to clean up the beaches, it costs anywhere from $1,500 to $25,000 per ton of trash.

It will cost hundreds of millions of dollars for Boyan’s dreams to come to fruition and clean up our oceans, but this is pennies in comparison to the worlds defense spending. It would be funny if it was not so sad, we spend trillions of dollars on war and billions of dollars searching for life on other planets, but the world can not afford a couple hundred millions of dollars to clean up our oceans?

This article (Met the 21 Year Old Entrepreneur Trying To Rid Our Oceans of Plastic) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article using a creative commons license with attribution to Brian Dunn and Alternative Medi4

Categories: World Events

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