30 June 2016

The Ocean Cleanup: an interview with founder and CEO Boyan Slat

De Brauw works for The Ocean Cleanup on a pro bono basis. We recently met with Boyan to learn more about his journey and his plans for the future.

Boyan Slat, a Dutch entrepreneur and inventor, is founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. His ambition? To fuel the global fight against oceanic plastic pollution by initiating the largest clean up in history. Boyan and his team work with more than 100 volunteers around the world to conduct research in the fields of engineering, physical oceanography, ecology, finance, maritime law, processing and recycling.

You just completed what you call a Mega Expedition. Tell us about it.

“It was a reconnaissance mission in preparation for the 2020 clean up. We know we can clean up about half of the plastic, but the question is: half of what? We don’t have an overall number to gauge our efforts by. So we took more measurements in three weeks’ time than had been taken in the last 40 years. We had 27 boats measuring the discarded plastic in the garbage patch; it was the first time such a large data set was gathered. Doing this helped us determine what the optimal position of the system should be. It was quite a success, although we found a lot more plastic out there than we initially expected to find”.

Click here to read the full interview with Boyan.

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