Is it just us or are teens doing more and more impressive stuff these days? 19-year-old Dutch university student Boyan Slat adds to the youth movement with his ingenious Ocean Cleanup Array, a green tech concept aimed at addressing the immense problem of oceanic plastic pollution.
Comprised of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms, is said to be capable of removing up to 7,250,000 tons of plastic waste from the various garbage patches around the globe. Acting like a funnel, the angle of the booms would force plastic in the direction of the platforms, where it would be separated from plankton, filtered and stored for recycling.
A student at Delft University of Technology, Boyan launched the project to analyze the size and amount of plastic particles in the ocean’s garbage patches. His final paper went on to win several prizes, including Best Technical Design 2012 at the university. Boyan continued to develop his concept during the summer of 2012, and he revealed it several months later at TEDxDelft 2012.
“One of the problems with preventive work is that there isn’t any imagery of these ‘garbage patches’, because the debris is dispersed over millions of square kilometres," Boyan writes on his site. "By placing our arrays however, it will accumulate along the booms, making it suddenly possible to actually visualize the oceanic garbage patches. We need to stress the importance of recycling, and reducing our consumption of plastic packaging.”