We live in an amazing time, when the face of the era is determined not by politicians and presidents, but by students and active people. One of the first became Bill Gates – the founder of Microsoft not just in a few years turned into the richest man in the world. He created a new world where electronics freed people from routine, and the Internet broke the boundaries.
The 31-year-old Zuckerberg, the billionaire of a new wave, took over the baton from Gates: he came up with a social network that replaced people with live communication. Due to what the current students will be doing, which are replacing the generation of “Pepsi”?
On the ecology! In any case, it is for this that people are willing to pay huge amounts of money now.
The Dutch student Boyan Slat was only 20 years old, when he collected $ 2 million in donations for his project in 100 days.
What did this young man decide to do?
Clear the World Ocean of garbage! The idea of this young man was so attractive that he was supported by the United Nations. Bojan last year received a prestigious UNEP award for environmental protection.
Continent from garbage!
You will ask, what such blatant happens to the World ocean?
According to scientists, about 8 million tons of plastic bottles, packages, dishes, fishing nets, and packaging fall into the ocean every year.
Plastic, as is known, does not decompose by bacteria. Of these floating dumps, several giant garbage islands were formed. The largest of them is called the Eastern Garbage Continent. It is located in the northern part of the Pacific Ocean. Some experts are sure that its area occupies a space on which two Germany could fit. According to other sources, this continent competes in area with Australia. The difference in estimates is due to the fact that scientists have not yet decided: what to consider as the boundaries of the garbage continent. Since this is not a continuous layer of floating plastic and not an analogue of land. This is more a garbage soup, which was brought down by ocean currents.
East garbage continent is formed by waste with a total weight of more than 100 million tons. Scientists have documented the existence of four more smaller islands: two in the Atlantic, one in the Indian Ocean and one in the South Pacific. It is estimated that by 2025, 155 million tons of plastic will be thrown into the ocean. If you put these wastes in garbage bags and lay them along the entire shoreline of the planet, you get a Great Wall of garbage 40 meters high.
I first thought about this problem when I was 16 years old, “Boyan recalled. My parents and I went to Greece to learn diving. I was amazed that plastic bags came across underwater much more often than fish.
What to do with the garbage in the ocean?
Collecting floating garbage with the help of ships is incredibly expensive. How much fuel is needed to catch the drifting plastic?
Then Slat decided: why not use the ocean currents themselves?
As a result, he came up with a unique passive ocean purification system. Its basis is a network of stationary inflatable barriers, which are fixed with the help of anchors in the right directions. The wings of this giant trap (can reach tens of kilometers) are located V-shaped and catch the debris that brings ocean currents. The plastic is tightly assembled in the center, and a special loader on the platform packs it for further processing.
At the same time for marine inhabitants this trap is absolutely safe – they can easily swim under the barrier!
When I developed this system, I was a student at Delft University of Technology, I had only 200 euros in my pocket, says Boyan.
It was necessary to look for ways. For several months I unsuccessfully sent out offers to various companies. Once I sent 300 emails a day, but no one responded. My hands dropped.
There was an idea: I the small person, what I can make one in this huge world? But suddenly the puzzle was formed. Promotional video, which we launched a few months ago, has become extremely popular on the Internet. It spread with the speed of the virus. Hundreds of thousands watched it. And I forever remember the date of March 26, 2013 – on this day we received fifteen hundred messages from those who wanted to help us. For 15 days we collected 80 thousand dollars of donations, and after a while on our account there were already 2 million dollars!
CAN THE STUDENT TURN THE WORLD?
About a year it took to test the system. And in 2016, the first trap of 2 kilometers in length was installed off the coast of Tsushima Island. This strait, which divides Japan and South Korea, is considered one of the most polluted places in the world. Within five years, Slat and his team plan to hone the technology, and in 2020 will begin to destroy the Pacific trash continent with the help of 100-kilometer traps. Boyan Slat estimated that his method of harvesting the world ocean is 7900 times faster and 33 times cheaper than existing projects. But it will take at least 10 years to recycle only 42 percent of this Great Plastic Spot. This will be spent more than $ 30 million …
The question arises: are these grandiose plans really going to be implemented by a 21-year-old Dutch boy? If Boyan succeeds, then we will have at our disposal a universal pedagogical tool.
– from 25 recycled plastic bottles you can make one fleece jacket.
– energy from recycling a single plastic bottle is enough to light a 60 watt light bulb for 6 hours.
– top-20 countries responsible for the production of 84 percent of plastic debris are headed by China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka.
The US closes this “big twenty”.
– the cost of recycling one kilogram of plastic floating in the ocean, about $ 5.
Think about it !!! If every inhabitant of our planet makes a clean space around himself, humanity and our planet will exist for much longer!