Can we save the ocean?

Bryan Slat working on his idea in his bedroom office. Photo courtesy of The Ocean Clean Up

Boyan Slat working on his idea in his bedroom office.
Photo courtesy of The Ocean Clean Up

Level 3

Boyan Slat says, ”Yes, we can!”

Who is Boyan Slat?

Boyan Slat is 21 years old. He lives in the Netherlands.

Boyan started thinking about how to clean up the ocean when he was 16 years old. His family was on vacation near Greece. He liked to swim in the Mediterranean Sea.

He noticed a problem in the water

Download and read the story.

Watch the project grow on this video, Ocean Cleanup – The Beginning
Go to the Ocean Cleanup website to learn more

There was a lot of plastic garbage floating in the water. He asked, “Why don’t we clean this up?” He started to study the problem. He found out it was a big problem in all the seas and oceans.

Why is plastic a problem?

People throw eight million metric tons of plastic garbage into the ocean every year. Plastic lasts forever. It causes many problems. Fish, mammals and birds eat the plastic. Eating the plastic can cause diseases and death.

What is Boyan doing about it?

Boyan is still worried about pollution in the oceans of the world. He wants to remove trillions of pieces of plastic garbage from the ocean. In 2013, he started a company called The Ocean Cleanup.

The Ocean Cleanup is a big company. It has many staff and thousands of supporters from many countries.

Boyan Slat standing behind a pile of plastic garbage. The plastic was collected by volunteers in Hawaii. Photo courtesy of The Ocean Clean Up

Boyan Slat standing behind a pile of plastic garbage. The plastic was collected by volunteers in Hawaii.
Photo courtesy of The Ocean Clean Up

What is Boyan’s company doing to help?

The Ocean Cleanup is putting a 100-metre long barrier in the ocean near the Netherlands. This is the biggest clean up project ever tried.

Water can go though the barrier, but plastic cannot. The plastic is collected from the ocean. The plastic can be recycled.

A barrier is being towed into place. Photo courtesy of The Ocean Clean Up

A barrier is being towed into place.
Photo courtesy of The Ocean Clean Up

Next year, Ocean Cleanup will put a barrier off the coast of Japan. It will be longer than 100 metres.

More photos:

A crew looks at a barrier. This barrier is 40 metres long. Photo courtesy of The Ocean Clean Up

A crew looks at a barrier. This barrier is 40 metres long.
Photo courtesy of The Ocean Clean Up

A barrier is being checked. Photo courtesy of The Ocean Clean Up

A barrier is being checked.
Photo courtesy of The Ocean Clean Up

Bryan Slat is holding a line. He is measuring how deep under the water plastic can be found. Photo courtesy of The Ocean Clean Up

Bryan Slat is holding a line. He is measuring how deep under the water plastic can be found.
Photo courtesy of The Ocean Clean Up