Dutch Engineer-Turned-Cleaner Puts Faith In Humanity’s ‘Better Angels’

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Photo by World Economic Forum

By UN News

When 20-year-old Boyan Slat accepted the United Nations Champion of the Earth award in 2014 for his efforts to clean the ocean of plastic, he made two predictions: that the road ahead would be bumpy and that he would not give up.

Five years later, both those forecasts have come true: Slat is as committed as ever to clearing plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch using a revolutionary U-shape floater that acts as an artificial coastline. But he has certainly hit those bumps he foresaw.

Despite setbacks and criticism, Slat has no intention of giving up, not least because he believes his project, The Ocean Cleanup, is part of a tide of innovation that could deliver solutions to the world’s most intractable environmental problems.

“I’m a strong believer that action inspires action, so creating examples of how we solve the problem by using the best humanity has to offer—our ingenuity, our ability to create things out of the blue and our ability to collaborate and effectively work together—that’s what the world needs,” he said. Read more>>

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