Friday, January 24, 2020

Feel Good Friday - The Ocean Cleanup

Solving the problem of plastics in the ocean is a recurring theme of the Feel Good Friday blog. Why? Because the oceans are still full of plastic!

I learned about today's organization, The Ocean Cleanup, from this article on the Good News Network, which I recommend you follow if you can't wait until Fridays to feel good.

When Boyan Slat was 16 he was diving in Greece and surprised to find more plastic than fish in the ocean. What did he do about it? Researched plastic pollution as a school project, came up with an idea to develop a passive concentration system, gave a TedX talk in his hometown of Delft in the Netherlands, inspired people to crowdfund $90,000 and founded The Ocean Cleanup in 2013. Like you do.

As explained on their website, "The Ocean Cleanup is designing and developing cleanup systems to clean up what is already polluting our oceans and to intercept plastic on its way to the ocean via rivers." With over 5 trillion pieces of plastic littering the ocean and accumulating in 5 gyres, or garbage patches, Slat's floating system captures the plastic so it can be collected and recycled. Models put together by the team show that "a full-scale cleanup system roll-out could clean 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just five years." Learn more about that here.

That's not where it ends. The research team at The Ocean Cleanup found that 80% of the trash that ends up in the oceans comes from 1,000 rivers around the world. Enter the Interceptor, a ship of sorts that can extract up to 220,000 pounds of trash in a day. Slat's goal is to have Interceptors in all of the 1,000 worst polluting rivers by 2025. See how they work in this 2-minute video.

The Ocean Cleanup team, with over 80 engineers, researchers and scientists, aims to "reach a 90% reduction of floating ocean plastic by the year 2040." You can help them make it happen! Make a donation, shop for merch and raise awareness on social media by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @TheOceanCleanup and @BoyanSlat. #TheOceanCleanup

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