Global – The Ocean Cleanup project led by Dutchman Boyan Slat to rid the oceans of plastic has raised US$ 21.7 million in donations since November 2016. In total, more than US$ 31 million has been collected and this will be used to initiate ‘large-scale’ trials of the project’s technology in the Pacific Ocean by the end of 2017.
The ‘significant’ funding round has been headed by San Francisco-based philanthropists Marc and Lynne Benioff and an anonymous donor.
‘With Boyan’s innovative leadership, I believe The Ocean Cleanup will have an incredibly positive impact on the future of our oceans,’ says Marc Benioff. Other supporters include the Julius Baer Foundation, Royal DSM and Silicon Valley entrepreneur/investor Peter Thiel.
Boyan Slat, founder and ceo of The Ocean Cleanup, comments: ‘Our mission is to rid the world’s oceans of plastic, and this support is a major leap forward towards achieving this goal. Thanks to the generous support of these funders, the day we’ll be returning that first batch of plastic to shore is now in sight.’
Since its launch in 2013, The Ocean Cleanup project team has been developing a passive plastic-capturing technology which uses ocean currents to catch and concentrate the plastic. The technology is claimed to reduce the theoretical clean-up time for ocean debris ‘from millennia to years’.
The team aims to launch its first experimental clean-up system in the Pacific Ocean by late 2017, claiming this will represent ‘the most important milestone on the road to the full-scale clean-up of the world’s oceans’.
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