Erwin Zwart/The Ocean Cleanup
The Ocean Cleanup Receives Over $30 Million To Remove Waste In Pacific Waters

10 percent of all our waste we create is plastic. That doesn’t seem like a large number initially, but it expands quite greatly when put into perspective. In a different way, as water bottle consumption continues to grow in America, over 35 billion of those are thrown away. Much of that waste enters our oceans and is the cause of mass pollution in the waters. A Dutch company has a goal to eliminate as much of that waste as possible, and they’re well on their way after raising over $30 million in funding.

The Ocean Cleanup

Known simply as “The Ocean Cleanup,” this group was started up by entrepreneur Boyan Slat. He explained his vision at a TED talk five years ago when he was just 18 years old. Through natural ocean currents, a long V-shaped screen would push through the water to pick up plastic while sea animals would still be able to go under the obstacle with the current. All this plastic would be pushed to a specific area, where it would then be plucked out and recycled.

This would be a major improvement compared to the traditional standard. The official website claims that it “would take thousands of years and tens of billions of dollars to complete,” but with updated technology and using this process, they “could remove about half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 years.”  That area is being the focus for the release because pollution is estimated to be 700,000 square kilometers. 

With running through the ocean’s currents, there will be no need for an additional energy source. The screen will simply move along with the water. The process will be geared to be autonomous -- everything is expected to run on its own from the cleanup process to pulling out the debris from the water. Also, the screens will vary in size to accommodate what needs to be accomplished.


Proper funding has finally been achieved, some of it thanks to big names like PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and Salesforce founder Marc Benioff. Back in 2014, the company launched a crowdfunding campaign and was able to raise $2.2 million through the help of over 38,000 people. After updating that they’ve received $21.7 million to put the total to $31.5 million, The Ocean Cleanup announced that they will reveal scale model test results from a prototype it created last year on Thursday, May 11th.

The prototype was launched in the North Sea with a goal to see how the process worked in adverse weather conditions. With a full-scale launch planned for the Pacific Ocean, these storms in the North Sea are generally stronger than even the biggest generated in the ocean. This prototype was 100 meters long and was done 23 kilometers, or a little over 14 miles, off the coast.

There are two major milestones the company still has planned. First, they plan on releasing a pilot system later this year in the Pacific Ocean. This will increase efficiency as they’ll be able to do multiple tests. Finally, by 2020, they hope to officially begin the process of cleaning up the debris from the waters.

NewsPopular U.K. Grocery Store Vows To Get Rid Of Plastic By 2023

Iceland Foods has been leaning on plastics for its well-known frozen food line in the U.K. They've decided they have the technology to get rid of plastic and make their packaging recyclable—and no excuse not to.

6 days ago
NewsSaudi Arabia Plans To Invest $7 Billion In Green Energy To Cut Oil Use

Saudi Arabia's government is going to invest in eight solar and wind farm projects in 2018. The capacity is going to reach over 4 gigawatts with most of it allocated to solar energy and it's aimed to decrease the country's consumption of oil.

7 days ago
NewsWhy Popular Alcohol Companies Are Eliminating Plastic From Their Brands

Two alcohol companies behind popular brands like Johnnie Walker, Guinness, and Jameson Irish Whiskey are eliminating plastic straws and stirrers entirely. They won't be used in their offices, at events, or in future advertisements.

7 days ago
RenewablesFirst Electric And Emission-Free Barge To Launch This Summer

A Dutch company is planning to launch the first emission-free barges in Europe this summer. These vessels will be the first autonomous and fully electric barges to operate in the coastal highways between the Netherlands and Belgium.   

1 week ago
Stay Green
Sign up for our daily newsletter