The Ocean Cleanup, a foundation with the aim to get rid of plastics in the world’s oceans just got support from a number prominent investors and philanthropists. In a round led by the Marc and Lynne Benioff foundation, of Salesforce founder and billionaire Marc Benioff, and an anonymous donor, the foundation raised 21.7 million USD in donations. Other supporters include the Julius Baer Foundation, Royal DSM, and Peter Thiel. The new round brings the total funding of The Ocean Cleanup since 2013 to 31.5 million USD.
Founded by Boyan Slat in 2012, while he was still a student at Delft University of Technology, The Ocean Cleanup is developing advanced technologies to rid of the oceans of plastic. By creating artificial coastlines on sea and using the ocean’s current to collect the plastic the foundation can get rid of ‘plastic soup’ in a fraction of the time and cost of more conventional methods. To accelerate the process even more Slat aims to create artificial coastlines as long as 100 kilometres. The collected plastic will subsequently be transported by ships to shore where it can be recycled. The new donation allows the foundation to initiate large-scale trials of this technology in the Pacific Ocean later this year.
“Lynne and I are thrilled to support The Ocean Cleanup’s important goal of eliminating plastic in our oceans,” said Benioff in a press release about the announcement. Benioff: ”With Boyan’s innovative leadership, I believe The Ocean Cleanup will have an incredibly positive impact on the future of our oceans. I hope other leaders will join us in supporting these efforts.”
“Our mission is to rid the world’s oceans of plastic, and this support is a major leap forward towards achieving this goal. Thanks to the generous support of these funders, the day we’ll be returning that first batch of plastic to shore is now in sight”, says Slat about the new support for his foundation.
Details on this project and the start of the cleanup will be shared with 3000 of the supporters of the foundation at an event on Thursday May 11th at the Werkspoorkathedraal in Utrecht, the Netherlands and followed by a media Q&A session. You can register for the event here.
Photo Credit: Mathew Waters