The Ocean Cleanup is aimed at environmentally friendly, large-scale and efficient removal of plastic pollution from aquatic ecosystems. In all facets of its work, the organization is focused on sustainability: the collection and removal process is passive. Plastic that we harvested is recycled into sustainable products and partly used to fuel our collection vessels. We are preparing to work in an environmentally sensitive environment, and follow the precautionary principle in every scaling step: If it turns out to be harmful, we wont do it. We work with oceanographers and biologists on staff as well as from 3rd party institutes.
The Ocean Cleanup is a not-for-profit foundation, and fully built on third party financial support. It was founded in 2013 with the help of 2.2 million USD that was crowd-funded from more than 38,000 individuals from 160 countries over a period of 100 days. After this initial funding, most support came from private philanthropists, such as Marc Benioff (CEO and founder of salesforce.com) and numerous others who request to remain anonymous. In addition, we receive important in-kind support from companies like Boskalis (the Netherlands), or pro-bono services. For a full list of our partners, please visit: www.theoceancleanup.com/partners/. Donations to The Ocean Cleanup are tax deductible in The Netherlands, Belgium and the U.S.A.
The Dutch Government (Ministries of Infrastructure and Environment, and Economic Affairs) has provided The Ocean Cleanup with a â‚¬500,000 subsidy to support the deployment of the North Sea Prototype in 2016.
Our CEO and Founder, Boyan Slat was recognized by the United Nations Environment Programme, and in 2014 became the youngest ever recipient of the UN Champion of the Earth Award. In 2015, HM King Harald of Norway awarded Boyan the maritime industry’s Young Entrepreneur Award. Foreign Policy included Boyan in their 2015 list of Global Thinkers, and Forbes included him in their 30 under 30 edition in 2016, and Readers Digest chose him as the European of the Year in 2017. Boyan is a member of the Thiel Fellowship.
The Ocean Cleanup has been recognized as one of the Designs of the Year by the London Design Museum, is recipient of the 2015 INDEX: Award, won Fast Companys 2015 Innovation by Design award, and has been chosen by TIME magazine as one of the 25 best inventions of 2015.
Complementary to its approach to solve the legacy problem of plastic in the ocean garbage patches, the organization developed the Interceptor technology to help prevent plastic garbage from entering the oceans via rivers. Interceptors are now deployed in Jakarta, Indonesia and Klang, Malaysia, with preparations ongoing for further deployments around the world.