top of page

Ocean Clean Up Gets Financial Boost

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

The co-founder of Airbnb has donated $25 million to support the Dutch nonprofit The Ocean Cleanup as they prepare to assemble and deploy the largest plastic capture system ever developed for use in the ocean.

The Ocean Cleanup ships dragging a vast plastic catching net

The Ocean Cleanup’s pilot-scale ocean cleaning system, System 002, has been deployed in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch located between Hawai’i and California since late 2021.

It has so far removed 200,000 kilograms, or roughly 440,000 pounds, of plastic that otherwise would have remained trapped for decades or more.

This pilot system is now in the process of being scaled up to the largest, most cost-effective ocean cleaning system ever developed. System 003 will feature a capture area 2.5 km (1.5 miles) wide, and a three-vessel team that will allow it to operate 24-7.

“I’m proud to partner with The Ocean Cleanup in their crucial work to remove harmful plastics from our oceans,” said Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb. “The Ocean Cleanup has created systems and technology that actually work at scale. In order for them to deploy across our oceans and rivers, they now need to scale their funding. It is my hope that this donation can inspire others to act.”

Dutch wiz kid and Ocean Cleanup founder Boyan Slat has been developing the capture system for a decade, and has gradually enlarged and improved it based on fieldwork harvesting plastic from the GPGP. System 03, cleans ten times faster than the previous system and could clean all the plastic patches of the world’s oceans with about 10-50 systems.

Slat’s work in the GPGP will likely go down as one of the greatest accomplishments in the 21st century.

Want to know more? Here's an informative video...


bottom of page