The Kid Who Can Save Us 78,995 Years Of Cleaning The Ocean

At this moment, millions of tons of plastic are swirling around in our oceans. Concentrated in five rotating global currents… but certainly not limited to these places. In fact, surface water samples across the globe exhibit a thick “soup” laden with microplastics – partially disintegrated particles that both contain and attract harmful toxins and chemicals. The survival of many marine species are threatened by its presence, including seabirds and those higher up the food chain who nourish themselves with aquatic life. Yep, that might even include you.


Research estimates that it would take 79,000 years to rid our seas of foreign matter. In 2012, a 17-year-old named Boyan Slat proposed a solution that could potentially cut that number to FIVE.

His idea?

Attaching floating barriers to the sea bed, enabling Slat’s organization, The Ocean Cleanup, to create a plastic cache before collecting it from the ocean – a process 100% driven by wind and currents, while nearly eliminating harm to wildlife and remaining efficient and environmentally sound when compared to alternative methods.

Apparently, the crowd-funding community thinks Boyan’s onto something, too. In September 2014, the Ocean Cleanup raised $2.1 million via a Kickstarter campaign to start their pilot phase.

Now armed with the assistance of over 100 volunteers – comprised mainly of scientists and engineers – Slat is currently involved in the next phase of his cleanup plan, which is creating prototypes of his floating, 100-kilometer-long collectors.


If you’re interested in furthering Boyan’s cause, please donate here. It’s up to all of us to do what we can to keep our oceans clean!

+ How are you honoring Earth Day today?

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8 years ago

Thank you for sharing this bit of hope – what a brilliant, loving young person!

Warm Regards,

8 years ago


This is so inspiring!! I wish I was very rich and powerful to be able to make this happend. Maybe we can start an Avaaz-campaign? with love for th earth, Cathrin

8 years ago

“Research estimates that it would take 79,000 years to rid our seas of foreign matter.” — this is hard to swallow. However, I’m so pleased to know that a CHILD has presented a solution to this ever-growing problem. Thanks for sharing about this initiative. I wasn’t aware of it and will definitely be making a donation to show my support. Long live Earth; it is so sacred!

Dee |

8 years ago

I need to take part in this cause. What an inspirational story!

8 years ago

Bravo, Boyan! The world needs more young people like you!

8 years ago

Loveeeeee! thank you for sharing! will spread the word.

8 years ago

“You’re gonna go far, kid.”

8 years ago

Faith in humanity restored! I wish there are more people like him!

7 years ago

Really fascinating project. I can actually use it as part of my graduation thesis. I’m in my last year of studying Operation of The Fleet and Ports and this project, the scale of it is massive. People like you are changing the world Boyan, keep up the good work. I’ll follow your progress since its really interesting and inspiring.

7 years ago

Outstanding performance Boyan! I’m from a janitorial services providing company. In spite of that I salute you. You really deserve it from all of us. Wish you all the best.