The life of Boyan Slat, a young man who wants to clean the oceans

At only 18, he thought of a system to clean up the oceans. Today, the whole world has its eyes on him and his great project, 'The Ocean Cleanup'. This is the life of Boyan Slat. With ChangeNOW Summit

One mission: to rid the world’s ocean of plastic

Dedicating one’s life to solve the plastic problem, that’s the choice Boyan Slat made, a Dutchman born in 1994. Passionate about science since he was a kid, he set a Guinness World Record at the age of 14 for launching 213 water rockets at the same time. Later on, he began his studies in engineering, before quitting to dedicate himself to the issue of plastic.

At that moment, the question that kept me thinking, couldn’t stop thinking about it, and then after half a year of aerospace engineering in university, I decided to drop out and start The Ocean Cleanup. After raising 2 million euros via a worldwide crowdfunding campaign, he embarked on his great project to clean up the oceans.

In 2018, he set up a first floating barrier to collect waste from the Great Pacific garbage patch off the coast of California.But after several months of trying, Boyan Slat and his teams faced many problems. In June 2019, after fixing the problems, a new design was launched into the Pacific Ocean. The objective is to collect 90% of plastic in the oceans. To this end, Boyan Slat also wishes to work on the source of pollution: the earth. 1,000 rivers are responsible for roughly 80% of the world’s plastic pollution. That’s 1% of rivers doing 80% of the damage.

Boyan Slat has already received many rewards: ONU - Champions of the Earth 2014, Forbes - 30 under 30 2016, and Reader’s Digest - European of the Year 2017. Today, the world has its eyes on him, hoping that his system will be an efficient solution to solve the plastic problem. Boyan Slat thinks transitioning the world from being non-sustainable to being sustainable is the biggest challenge of this generation.


02/06/2020 12:24 PMupdated: 06/08/2020 12:44 PM


  • Karen L.
    05/01/2020 09:26

    We need a ban on single use plastics and fishing nets.

  • Christine F.
    04/30/2020 16:40

    Ban the Cruise ships 🚢!! Nothing but floating Petri dishes 🧫 and huge polluters. Nonessential business going forward!

  • A D.
    04/28/2020 21:06

    Better than 'How dare you' kid

  • राहुल व.
    04/27/2020 06:35

  • Diego M.
    04/26/2020 12:24

    Greta is marketing. Go Boyan!! 👍

  • Martin S.
    04/26/2020 00:26

    Plastic is NOT the problem. People's irresponsible behaviour is the problem.

  • Regina A.
    04/25/2020 22:30

    Thank you for God to give u a great brain keep it up we love u

  • Sue P.
    04/25/2020 22:27

    So good that someone's making a huge difference to our oceans keep up the good work

  • Diann M.
    04/25/2020 19:19

    Production has to stop

  • Alfadz S.
    04/25/2020 19:06

    Close plastic factories all over the world,ban using plastics or restricted on it...

  • Ellee W.
    02/19/2020 20:30

  • Linda A.
    02/16/2020 23:10

    True no plastic.

  • Gertraud B.
    02/16/2020 22:11

    What a great young man! Greta could learn from him if she wasn't so buys abusing everybody!

  • Michael C.
    02/16/2020 15:07

    Absolutely beautiful thing this young man doing, unlike Greta

  • Sani Z.
    02/16/2020 11:05

    Well effort boyan great Man

  • Peter C.
    02/16/2020 09:15

    Well done Boyan You are an inspiration

  • Lizbeth A.
    02/16/2020 06:32

    Stop making plastic all together!

  • Cris B.
    02/16/2020 05:42

    That is brilliant!! Thanks for that, very inspiring!!!

  • Mamta G.
    02/16/2020 05:41

    Great work

  • Jagmohan S.
    02/16/2020 04:33

    Well done

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