Using swirling currents to cycle water through cleanup booms. Boyan found that the best shape for his anchored cleanup ships was a manta ray, mimicking the way that a ray floats through the water. He imagines that an array of twenty-four of these platforms could clean an entire ocean. The plan is short on details, but Slat estimates that by selling the plastic taken from the water that the project could pay for itself.

18-year-old Boyan Slat combines environmentalism, entrepreneurialism, and technology to tackle global issues of sustainability. After diving in Greece, and coming across more plastic bags than fish, he wondered; “why can’t we clean this up?”

While still being at secondary school, he then decided to dedicate half a year of research to understand plastic pollution and the problems associated with cleaning it up. This ultimately led to his passive clean-up concept, which he presented at TEDxDelft 2012.

Working to prove the feasibility of his concept, Boyan Slat currently gives a lead to a team of approximately 50 people and temporarily quit his Aerospace Engineering study to completely focus his efforts on The Ocean Cleanup.