The Ocean Cleanup carried out Mega Expedition, a research of concentration of plastic in the Pacific, which lasted for a month in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This is in preparation for the large-scale cleanup of the area, set to begin in 2020.
The Mega Expedition’s primary goal was to accurately de-termine how much plastic is floating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, by executing the largest ocean research expedition in history. Although the samples collected during the expedition still have to be analyzed, preliminary findings indicate a higher-than-expected volume of large plastic objects floating in the ocean.
This underscores the urgency of The Ocean Cleanup’s mission to clean it up, according to CEO and founder Boyan Slat: “The vast majority of the plastic in the garbage patch is currently locked up in large pieces of debris, but UV light is breaking it down into much more dangerous microplastics…“ Boyan compared the situation to a ticking time bomb.
The Ocean Cleanup was able to conduct the Mega Expedition thanks to major financial contributions from entrepreneur-philanthropists.
Boyan Slat (1994) is a Dutch entrepreneur and inventor who creates technologies to tackle global issues of sustainability. Instead of going after the plastic, Boyan devised a system though which, driven by the ocean currents, the plastic would concentrate itself, reducing the cleanup time from centuries to mere years. His concept turned out to be ‘likely a technically feasible and financially viable’ method to clean up half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 years’ time. Boyan Slat has been recognized as one of the 20 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs Worldwide, and awarded and praised for his endevours by the UN, HM King Harald of Norway, London Design Museum, TIME magazine and others.