Ocean cleanup plan pitched by Delft teen

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A student from Delft has found a way to clean the ocean of plastic waste in an efficient and reasonably priced way. He presents the results of his feasibility study in New York on Tuesday. In 2012, 19-year old inventor Boyan Slat found a solution to rid the world's conscience of the ocean's plastic pollution problem. He unveiled his plan for an installation, and spent one year studying how it could be made possible. In New York, he explains that is its a feasible plan. Slat believes that he can install his invention in the ocean range between Hawaii and California in 2020. This region is the most heavily polluted with plastic in all oceans. "Within 10 years we can remove almost half of all the plastic from that area", the inventor says.

Slat's installation has long floating arms, in the shape of a V. These arms are 100 kilometers long and three meters high, and are anchored at strategic locations on the sea bed. "In this way we should be able to catch most of the plastic. With sea currents, the plastic automatically comes towards the point of the V." There, the plastic is pumped up and held. A tanker will come to collect the retrieved plastic every 1.5 months. According to the young inventor, the machine will not pose a danger to ocean life, plants or animals, because sea life will travel under the arms, due to the current. The first time the world heard about Slat's plan for The Ocean Cleanup, which was part of his VWO school profile work, was when he presented his idea in a talk at a TEDx Talks conference. That video has had more than a million hits on YouTube by now. Slat halted his Aviation and Aerospace Engineering course for a while to fully concentrate on this project. He now has a team of 100 people helping him. Now that the project has become realistically viable, he is planning to gather the financing for it through crowdfunding. He does warn that pollution has to be stopped, otherwise the project makes no sense. The costs for the project are estimated at €317 million, the NOS reports. Later this month, Slat will present his project to US Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Kerry.

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