Plastic Pollution Solution

Lotte Biesheuvel
February 17th 2014

It seemed an impossible challenge to clean the ocean from plastic pollution, until now. Dutch Technology student Boyan Slat says he may have found a way to remove disposed from seawater. He has a solution to clean oceans in five years, and make it profitable.

Plastic reaches oceans mostly from land through rivers and waterways, and then accumulates in 5 areas of high concentration, called gyres. This plastic is very harmful for aquatic animals, but it can also be harmful for us humans because it accoumulates in the food chain. Plus, it costs governments heaps of money due to beach clean-ups and vessel damages on ships.

The reason it seemed impossible to remove plastic from the ocean was the fact that plastic is always drifting around. Slat came up with a self-supportive manta ray shaped platform. This platform will be fixed into the sea bed and made of large booms to cover large areas to remove the ocean from plastic. The rotating current causes the debris to move towards the platform, where it will be collected. The retrieved plastic can eventually be recycled. The benefits of recycling will outweigh the cost of executing this project.

Currently Slat and his team are working on the feasibility of their study, and hopefully they can publish it in several months.

For more information and visualizations about this initiative check the website.

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Should men be able to give birth to children?


Lisa Mandemaker: Using an artificial womb could lead to more equality between sexes, but also between different family layouts. If men would be able to give birth to children, it would maybe be easier for male same-sex couples to have a child together.

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