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Boyan Slat’s Ocean Clean-up ready to harvest waste

Dutch entrepreneur Boyan Slat says his ambitious start-up The Ocean Clean-up is ready to switch from a testing phase to a harvesting phase, following successful trials in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and various rivers around the world.

‘The day has come to celebrate the beginning of the end of the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch,’ Slat announced. Yesterday, he welcomed back his offshore crew after a successful 12-week testing campaign in the Pacific that has led to proof of technology for the ocean plastic recovery solution.

‘With System 002 and loads of plastic on board (29 000 kg to be exact), we will take a brief pause at the Victoria Harbour to celebrate the dedication of our team and supporters before returning to the patch,’ the founder of The Ocean Clean-up reports. As a next step, he envisions a fine-tuned, scaled-up system of the 002 unit, being deployed ten at a time.

Thinking about how far he has come in the last few years, Slat says he is ‘speechless’. He told the press during a live Youtube broadcast; ‘It is hard to imagine that all that plastic waste was floating around two thousand or so kilometres from our shores. If we hadn’t intervened, it would still be there five, ten or even a hundred years from now. This stuff is so persistent, and that’s exactly the reason why we have to clean it up.’

And he quickly adds: ‘There should be no debate about whether we as a society should take preventative measures or clean it up. We have to do both!’ Slat flashes a smile. ‘That way, I’m confident we can tackle the 100 million kilograms of ocean plastic still out there.’

The young entrepreneur recalls it’s exactly ten years ago that he first learned about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. ‘Back then, everyone told me there was no hope of ever cleaning it up. They were right then; no method existed to do it. But now there is. I am proud and relieved that the test phase of System 002 is successfully completed. Lots of things still to iron out, but one thing we know: deploy a small fleet of these systems, and one can clean it up. I want to thank everyone for their support getting us to this point!’

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