A 19-year-old student believes his invention could clean up the seas in just five years.
A Dutch teenager named Boyan Slat says his device could collect some 20 billion tons of plastic waste. It's a series of floating booms and processing platforms.
The 'ocean cleanup' concept is designed to capture the floating plastic, but it will allow ocean life and even plankton to pass through unharmed.
Boyan plan involves fixing sea water processors to the sea bed, which are also attached to the floating platform so that the water can move through them and generate energy.
Floating booms are used instead of nets. This way no sea life gets tangled.
This is what is written on Boyan's web site: 'Although this hypothesis still has to be tested, even the planktonic species – due to their density being close to that of the sea water – may move under the booms along with the water flow.'
Another plus is that Boyan says his contraption is completely self supportive. It gets its energy from the sun and waves.
'By letting the platforms' wings sway like an
actual manta ray, we can ensure contacts of the inlets with the
surface, even in the roughest weather,' he said.
The invention could also make up to $500 million a year from recycling the waste collected.
It could even be profitable.
He has now set up The Ocean Cleanup Foundation to raise funds to develop his innovation.