10 years cleaning half of the Pacific Ocean! 19-year-old boy awarded by the United Nations

Issuing time:2023-08-14 14:51


Nowadays, marine debris is becoming more and more serious. A teenager from the Netherlands has solved this problem through a genius invention.

When you think of the ocean, what do you first think of are blue waters, beautiful beaches and lovely marine life?

But a shocking truth is unknown: the ocean today has become the largest garbage dump on earth. Scientists even found a large amount of white garbage at a depth of 11,000 meters in the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean (the deepest trench in the world). Due to the special nature of the plastic material, although it is also an organic matter, it is not as easy to degrade as other organic materials. Data research shows that the time for plastic products to degrade naturally in nature is at least470 start. And like wood, it may degrade in a few months to a year or two.

When the whole world was at a loss, a Dutch teenager took on the heavy responsibility of cleaning up marine garbage.

01

With the continuous development of industrial society, human society produces more and more garbage, among which how to deal with plastic waste has become a headache. More and more plastic bags, plastic bottles and plastic lunch boxes have become things that everyone is talking about."White Devil"

Land is the place where human beings live and inhabits. Naturally, it cannot store too much plastic waste, so many people and countries choose to dump garbage into the ocean.

This garbage forms a garbage patch on the ocean.

Scientists estimate that in the Pacific Ocean alone, there are1.8 trillion pieces of plastic waste weighing 79,000 metric tons, enough to fill 500 jumbo jets, an area larger than France, Germany and Spain combined.

Now, more than 8 million tons of plastic waste are poured into the ocean every year, which not only causes huge pollution to the marine environment, but also causes a large number of marine organisms, such as sea turtles and black-backed albatrosses, to die after eating plastic by mistake.

Governments around the world have realized how serious the problem of ocean plastic litter is. For example, the Queen of England has ordered a ban on the use of plastic straws and plastic bottles in royal properties.Catering staff are only allowed to use china plates, glass, recycled paper cups or metal such as silver or aluminum.

But the problem is that it is too difficult to salvage and clean up all the marine garbage. Even excellent scientists have no way to deal with this problem.

However, a teenager from the Netherlands solved this problem through a genius invention.

02

This Dutch boy's name isBoyan Slat, born in 1994, is a standard "post-90s" handsome guy.

Originally, like most Dutch teenagers, he was enthusiastic, cheerful, carefree, and often engaged in various fitness activities, among which his favorite sport was diving.

However, perhaps Slat himself did not expect that a diving activity became a turning point in his life. He consisted of an ordinary Dutch boy,Growing up to be awarded by the United Nations: Guardian of the Earth.

It was the summer of 2011, and Slat came to the beach in Greece with great interest, planning to dive here.

Blue sky, sea, sunshine, Slat is full of expectations for this dive. But he saw an unforgettable scene in his life: the Greek beach, which was praised by countless people many years ago, is now full of all kinds of plastic waste! There are a lot of plastic bottles and bags floating in the sea!

Slat was appalled by the dirty ocean.

The 17-year-old is baffled: What exactly is causing so much trash at sea? Can you think of a way to salvage all these garbage and restore the beauty of the ocean?

Soon someone poured a big basin of cold water on him:"Once the plastic is in the ocean, there's nothing you can do about it."

Although this sentence makes people feel desperate, it is not false. The amount of plastic waste is too large, and it is so light that it continues to float on the surface of the sea. If you want to fish manually, it will consume a lot of manpower and material resources, and it is very likely thatEven if it takes 1000 years, it won't be clear.

What's more, the development center of the governments of various countries is still on land, and military strength and economic strength are the most concerned things for politicians. They are unwilling to invest too much money in cleaning up marine garbage.

03

However,Slat did not believe in this evil, and he made up his mind to clean up the marine garbage.Otherwise, in a few years, the ocean will be completely covered by plastic waste, and even diving in the sea will become a luxury for our descendants.

Since then, Slat has been keeping an eye out for information about marine debris management, but it's too difficult to do it alone.

Therefore, after studying at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, Slat met a group of like-minded friends and founded an ocean cleaning company at the age of 19 to develop projects related to ocean cleaning.

There is an old saying in China that what is achieved on paper is always superficial, but you never know that you have to practice it.

Although Slat is young, he also understands that passion and theoretical knowledge are not enough.

so,Slat took the initiative to apply to the school for a project on marine garbage cleaning, and then went to Greece with his classmates for field investigation

Slat prepared a huge fishing net and overcame various difficulties with his classmates to salvage and classify the plastic waste in the sea.

In the process of salvaging and sorting, Slat found that the most difficult to clean up in this garbage was plastic debris. The number of plastic debris is the primary reason. Another important reason is that when cleaning up these debris, it is easy to take away plankton in the sea and destroy the ecological balance in the ocean.

How can we clean up the plastic debris without harming the plankton? Slat began to think hard.

After trial after trial, Slat finally made a breakthrough discovery: 50G centrifugal force can effectively separate plankton from plastic debris.

Based on the data and information that Slat has obtained,A brand-new marine garbage cleaning device has been designed.

Plastic garbage collection platform in the ocean

This device is very different from the traditional garbage fishing boat. In essence, it effectively uses solar energy and tidal energy to create a cleaning platform, allowing plastic garbage to automatically drift into the cleaning platform with the action of ocean currents, thus making the ocean Become clean and beautiful.

The idea is beautiful, but the reality is cruel. It takes a lot of money to manufacture a garbage cleaning device. How can a Slat, who is just a boy, spend so much money all at once?

So, Slat began to ride around on a bicycle, going to many companies to apply for sponsorship.

But most businessmen are pursuing economic benefits, how can they give generously for marine environmental protection? Unsurprisingly, Slat got a bad rap. He said dejectedly: "I remember contacting300company onlya familyreplied me. "

04

Even when he kept running into walls, Slat never gave up. He gave a talk on TedX, passionately speaking to everyone about his ideals for cleaning up marine debris.

Heaven pays off. The speech became an opportunity for Slat's ideal to come true. In 2013, the video of his speech was suddenly spread wildly on the Internet, and countless ordinary people were moved by his ideal. after all,The pollution of marine debris is related to the future destiny of mankind.

Soon, Slat received a steady stream of financial support, with millions of dollars in donations.

According to the research results of the Slat team, using this latest cleaning device, half of the plastic waste in the Pacific Ocean can be cleaned up within 5 years, and the plastic waste weighing more than 70,000 tons in the Pacific Ocean can be cleaned up within 10 years, effectively improving Pacific environment.

And the cleaning cost is very low, only 3% of the traditional cleaning cost.

But I still want to ask a question here-Did things really work out perfectly?

No!First, an undeniable point. Slat has accomplished a human-impacting feat, and his invention promises to recycle most of the trash in the ocean. But what about after recycling?

Yes, we still need to spend a lot of time and energy to degrade and recycle the garbage after recycling, especially plastic garbage, and it may even be simpler and cruder - incineration.This may cause secondary pollution.

In the final analysis, the essence of the matter is still the problem of the "white devil" we mentioned at the beginning. Only from the source, use as little as possible of those non-environmentally friendly plastic products can truly protect the earth. If you really need to use disposable tableware,You can also choose some degradable, recyclable materials that will not cause pressure on the earth's environment. For example, aluminum foil lunch boxes, first of all, it will not pollute the environment, and secondly, aluminum is a material that can be recycled repeatedly, and no harmful substances will be produced during the recycling process.

Many people are envious of Slat. At the age of 20, Slat has already won the Champion of the Earth Award from the United Nations. A Dutch teenager can achieve such great achievements in environmental protection. In fact, it is not necessary, we can also be a silent guardian of the earth.

As Jobs said: "Live to change the world." And he did. And us mortal beings cannot be as idealistic as he is. However, at least we can do what we can, such as creating as little garbage as possible, using environmentally friendly materials like aluminum foil as much as possible, caring for our oceans and land, and not turning our earth into a huge garbage dump. In daily life, think kindly and do good deeds.

usThe company will also continue to pay attention to and participate in the research and solutions for the continuous pollution of marine plastics. Here we welcome and invite all those who are willing to join us to reduce stress for our mother earth.

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