-->

OVER 5 TRILLION PIECES OF PLASTIC CURRENTLY LITTER THE OCEAN

Trash accumulates in 5 ocean garbage patches, the largest one being the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located between Hawaii and California. If left to circulate, the plastic will impact our ecosystems, health and economies. Solving it requires a combination of closing the source, and cleaning up what has already accumulated in the ocean.

Technology

The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. A full-scale deployment of our systems is estimated to clean up 50 % of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 5 years.

Learn more

Ocean garbage patches are vast and dispersed

Ocean currents concentrate plastic in five areas in the world: the subtropical gyres, also known as the world’s "ocean garbage patches". Once in these patches, the plastic will not go away by itself. The challenge of cleaning up the gyres is the plastic pollution spreads across millions of square kilometers and travels in all directions. Covering this area using vessels and nets would take tens of thousands of years and cost billions of dollars to complete. How can we use these ocean currents to our advantage?

  • Autonomous

    Algorithms help specify the optimal deployment locations, after which the systems roam the gyres autonomously. Real-time telemetry will allow us to monitor the condition, performance and trajectory of each system.

  • Energy neutral

    Our systems fully rely on the natural ocean currents and do not require an external energy source to catch and concentrate the plastic. All electronics used, such as lights and AIS, will be powered by solar energy.

  • Scalable

    By gradually adding systems to the gyre, we mitigate the need for full financing upfront. This gradual scale-up also allows us to learn from the field and continuously improve the technology along the way.

THE IMPACT OF CLEANUP

Our models indicate that a full-scale system roll-out could clean up 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 5 years.

Research shows the majority of plastic by mass is currently in the larger debris. By removing the plastic while most of it is still large, we prevent it from breaking down into dangerous microplastics.

Combining the cleanup with source reduction on land paves the road towards a plastic free ocean by 2050.

Concentration of microplastics with and without cleanup in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

From concept to reality

Recent milestones on the path to the cleanup.

All milestones

Join the
team

Contribute with your skills and build a clean future with us

Join the team

Fund the cleanup

Help us move forward to full-scale deployment

Donate
  • “One of the world’s best inventions of 2015”
    TIME Magazine
  • “The first real plan to try to clean things up.”
    NBC Nightly News
  • “[The Ocean Cleanup’s] success could significantly reduce marine animal fatalities and enable numerous marine species […] to survive”
    Ocean Elders
  • “An incredible proposal.”
    George Takei, Actor and Activist
  • “A symbol of not only preaching, but also acting.”
    Neelie Kroes, Former European Commissioner
  • “In order to keep 7.5 billion of us alive and prosperous and healthy it takes work and it takes initiative. [...] That's what The Ocean Cleanup is all about and we absolutely need their work.”
    Chris Hadfield, Astronaut - Commander of Expedition 35
  • “What is interesting to see […] is that you are using nature to solve the mess we are doing on this planet.”
    André Borschberg, Co-founder of the Solar Impulse project
  • “I put my hope in young people. People who think differently. For them, a threat is not a threat but it’s a challenge. People like Boyan Slat of The Ocean Cleanup. ”
    André Kuipers, European space agency astronaut
  • “Boyan Slat is inspiring people, organizations and governments to find solutions to the escalating threat of plastic debris in our oceans, while also serving as a reminder to us all that more work needs to be done [...]”
    Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director
  • “Inspiring chat with young entrepreneur Boyan Slat, CEO and Founder of The Ocean Cleanup. We need more entrepreneurs like him, in all sectors.”
    Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research Science and Innovation
  • “Plastic is my pet peeve. Luckily, Boyan Slat is saving us from ourselves. Thanks for the ride.”
    Isobel Yeung, VICE News