How often have you heard anyone say that they don’t want any publicity because their project is not ready and they want to make sure it works first? Yeah, not many. Which is what makes us think that Boyan Slat and the team behind an ambitious plan to clean up the planet’s oceans may be worth watching.
The ocean garbage harvester (our name) is a very cool initiative to set up floating processing plants connected to booms which sweep the plastic and other garbage off the surface of the sea and into a hopper. The sun and wave powered unit will then do what needs to be done to make the plastic suitable for recycling or disposal.
For those who don’t know, the oceans are starting to fill up with a huge amount of garbage which we’re discard, including chemical sludge, plastics and general debris. The Pacific in particular seems to be particularly hard hit with a vast section currently suffering from the problem. The Atlantic also has its own patch.
The idea of the floating harvester is to collect all this stuff without harming the eco-sphere, and especially without scooping up the vital micro organisms and plankton which keep the food chain working and sustainable. The team is keen, as we said earlier, to make sure people realize that the project is still nowhere near a proven option, so they’re hard at work on pulling together some sort of feasibility study to determine if it actually can be done.
We’ve reported on this pollution problem before, but that was more of a publicity stunt than anything else, so it’s great to see someone actually taking the initiative to try and halt this scourge before it gets any worse. In the meantime we’ll be watching this team and their plans with deep interest, and silently cheering them on from the sidelines.
The Dutch team also has a call out for some help in the shape of
– hydrodynamic/fluid dynamics modellers
-advanced computational modelers
-biologists and remote sensing experts
-TU Delft engineering students
so if you’ve got the skills and the time, give them a call, they’ll definitely be grateful. [Via]