2015, October, 19

Alternative big idea: Floating walls to clean up oceans

Continuing on our aquatic topic of ridding the oceans of accumulating waste, here is another very creative idea: Floating walls.

What makes this idea particularly interesting is that it came from an 18-year old, who was able to approach the problem from a fresh and childlike perspective. Three years ago, Boyan Slat presented the floating walls concept at TEDx in the Netherlands: “The network of floating walls would work with the oceans’ currents to catch the millions—maybe even trillions—of tons of plastic waste. The motion of the ocean would essentially make it self-cleaning.”

Currently, Slat is getting ready to put his theory to the test.  With a dedicated team of researchers and engineers, “he is planning to build a 62-mile long trash-catching system in the Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and California”. I applaud not just his bold thinking but its combination of two seemingly illogical components: floating walls and water.

Read more of this intersectional idea here, from citylab.com:


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