Wake up with a Smile

Join our newsletter

Man Creates Solar-Powered Barges To Fish Trash Out Of Our Oceans.

When Boyan Slat was 16, he took a diving trip to Greece that changed his life.

The young Dutch man was appalled to see more plastic than fish in the ocean off the coast and resolved to do something about it. That’s how The Ocean Cleanup got its start!

Wikimedia Commons

The nonprofit’s mission is to develop advanced technology that will rid our oceans of plastic. Boyan is particularly interested in combating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a vast stretch of marine debris that reaches from California to Japan.

In recent years, they managed to collect two shipping containers full of trash from the area for the first time in history! Now, this motivated engineer and conservationist is turning his attention to the source of the pollution: the 1,000 rivers around the world that are dumping about 80 percent of that plastic into the ocean.


The Ocean Cleanup is making a difference with their incredible invention. The “Interceptor” is a solar-powered barge that sucks river debris into dumpsters and then brings it onshore to be recycled.

Impressively enough, one Interceptor can collect 220,000 pounds of garbage every single day! That means we can drastically reduce the amount of waste that reaches the ocean simply by placing this invention along riverbanks.


Boyan hopes to have these machines in each of the world’s worst polluting rivers by 2025. They’re already at work on the Klang River in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the Cengkareng Drain in Jakarta, Indonesia.

“Our team has remained steadfast in its determination to solve immense technical challenges to arrive at this point,” Boyan said. “Though we still have much more work to do, I am eternally grateful for the team’s commitment and dedication to the mission and look forward to continuing to the next phase of development.”

To support their mission, The Ocean Cleanup is encouraging people to nominate their rivers, appeal to their local governments, and donate what they can so Interceptors can be placed where they’re needed most.


What a wonderful way to make the world a better place! Keep up the great work, Boyan.

Watch the video below to see an Interceptor at work, and don’t forget to share this story with your friends.

Share your story & inspire the world.
If you have an uplifting story we would love to hear about it! Share it with us here.

Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.