Wednesday 05 August 2020

Delft student raises $2m through crowdfunding for plastic soup plan

A former Delft University student says he has raised $2m via an internet crowdfunding project to fund his ambitious plan to scoop plastic out of the Pacific Ocean.

Boyan Slat, 20, wants to develop a massive floating boom to catch the plastic soup and scoop it into ships. His project first hit the headlines earlier this year.

Slat plans to use the $2m to start developing his Ocean Cleanup system and run trials using a boom of between five and 10 kilometres long. Eventually he hopes to develop a 100 kilometre catchment system.

Donations

With two days to go, over 37,500 people have donated funding to the project over the past two months.

Slat thinks his dream will eventually cost over €300m to produce and says he expects to raise that money once the technology has been proven. ‘If you consider the plastic in the oceans causes damage worth some $13bn a year, I think the money will be forthcoming,’ he told news agency ANP.

In the meantime, the project is taking up so much time that Slat has abandoned his aeronautical engineering degree. ‘I can’t think of anything better than developing a solution to a global problem and realising it with the support of tens of thousands of people,’ he said.

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