Press release

Crowd Funding Campaign The Ocean Cleanup Successfully Completed

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Funding raised in 100 days exceeds expectations

September 15, 2014, Amsterdam – The Ocean Cleanup, founded by Dutchman Boyan Slat (20), has successfully completed its crowdfunding campaign. With the support of over 38,000 funders from 160 countries, in 100 days over US$ 2 million has been raised. This success brings The Ocean Cleanup another step closer in its quest of cleaning the oceans of plastics. The next step, which comprises the construction and testing of large-scale operational pilots, can now be initiated.

The funding raised will be utilized to deploy a series of up-scaling tests, ultimately resulting in a fully operational offshore cleanup array in 3 years’ time; the final preparation before full-scale execution. The team projects the first pilot to be operational within a year. Within this year a sequence of expeditions is also being planned, which are focused on collecting further oceanographic data for engineers to work with.

Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup Foundation: “Plastic pollution has been recognized by the UN as one of the major environmental challenges facing mankind in the 21st century. The crowdfunding received so far enables us to start the Pilot Phase, in which we push the concept from feasible to executable. Hence, we are very grateful to all of whom have supported us worldwide, all crowdfunding and professional in-kind contributors, as well as the many volunteers and ambassadors who invested their enthusiasm, and gave us the confidence to keep going.”

On 3 June 2014, Boyan Slat presented The Ocean Cleanup’s feasibility study – a 530-page report, authored by 70 scientists and engineers – proposing a viable method to clean half of the so-called ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ within ten years’ time. At the same time, a crowdfunding campaign was launched, aiming to collect US$ 2 million within 100 days. Within 98 days, the US$ 2 million target had been reached. After completion, US$ 2,154,282 had been raised, making it ‘the most successful non-profit crowdfunding campaign in history’, according to crowdfunding platform ABN AMRO’s SEEDS, who facilitated the campaign.

The Ocean Cleanup will now assemble a new team to lead the research and plans to start the pilot phase next month.

As Boyan Slat tweeted today: “I can’t wait to get started again.”