Ocean Cleanup raises enough cash to test North Sea plastic trap

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Dutchman Boyal Slat's (21) project foundation The Ocean Cleanup raised enough funding to launch a prototype test in the North Sea, the foundation announced on Wednesday. The prototype test is set to launch early summer this year.

Slat's design consists of long floating barriers that act as an artificial coastline that passively collects and concentrates ocean trash. It is powered by the ocean's natural currents. The North Sea prototype is the first time the design will be tested at sea. The prototype spans 100 meters. It will be launched in the North Sea, 23 kilometers of the coast of Scheveningen harbor, The Hague. The prototype will spend one year in the water, with the objective to test and analyze how the floating barrier segment holds up in the water and weather conditions. The ultimate goal is to deploy a 100 kilometer long structure between Hawaii and California by 2020. According to the foundation's analysis, this structure will be able to clean up about half of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in a decade. According to the foundation, two thirds of the 1.5 million euros needed for the North Sea prototype test was contributed by dredging company Royal Boskalis and the Ministries of Infrastructure and Environment and Economic Affairs. The rest of the funding was contributed by an "anonymous philanthropist". "Making sure the floating barriers are able to withstand the harshest of conditions is fundamental to the success of our mission", Boyal Slat, CEO and founder of The Ocean Cleanup, said in the press release. "I am grateful to our supporters for enabling us to perform these critical sea trials. It is this kind of support which is crucial in our preparation for the largest cleanup in history." “Boyan proves that innovations for tackling environmental problems and entrepreneurship go well together. The Dutch government therefore shows its full commitment by giving this financial contribution to the Ocean Cleanup’s prototype." State Secretary Sharon Dijksma of Infrastructure and Environment said.