The Ocean Cleanup is a Dutch non-profit organisation, founded in 2013 by 18-year-old Boyan Slat. With over 90 employees, they try to complete their mission of cleaning our oceans and preventing plastic pollution daily. Their goal is to reduce 90% of the plastic floating in the oceans by 2040. This is also done by preventing the plastic, that is thrown in rivers, to reach open waters. In other numbers: The organisation aims to clean an ocean size similar to 500.000 football fields – currently they have already completed 316.740 of it.
How do they do it? - The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
“Big problems require big solutions “
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the biggest of the five ocean garbage patches. It is in the North Pacific, between Hawaii and California.
The garbage patch approximately covers 1.6 million square kilometers, which equals a size three times as big as France. It is estimated that 1.8 trillion plastic pieces are floating in the patch, which must weight around 80.000 tones – with upward potential.
How do they clean it up?
“The first real plan to try to clean things up”
The Ocean Cleanup invented a new large-scale clean-up system called “System 002”, which was launched in July 2021.
Due to the relative speed difference between the system and the plastic, the plastic will concentrate. The vessels will be located at the pollution hotspots, with the help of cameras that are placed above and underneath the surface. Once the System 002 is full, the collected garbage will be brought onboard. This process continues until the containers on the vessels are full as well.
What happens with the plastic afterwards?
“A symbol of not only preaching, but also acting”
The collected plastic is being brought back to shore, where it is properly recycled. By 2030, the team expects to have cleaned an immense amount of the garbage patch, so that pollution only ranges between 0-50 kg/km2.
The non-profit organisation started to produce a product made of the recycled ocean plastic. 100% of the profit goes back to the project so they can continue to reach their goals and clean the oceans. Currently the first product is a pair of sunglasses. The team estimates that with just one pair of these sunglasses, they will be able to clean an ocean area similar to 24 football fields.
We are extremely excited for initiatives like The Ocean Cleanup and think these will play a massive part for our future. That is why we donate 2% of every purchase amount to The Ocean Cleanup, so they can make the difference at sea while we make the difference at mainland. Win-win, right?
If you want to support The Ocean Cleanup to, buy their product, or simply want to have more information, click here and get to know all about this amazing charity!