Press release

The Ocean Cleanup is awarded Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award

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Rotterdam, the Netherlands, August 27, 2019 – The Ocean Cleanup has been chosen as one of five recipients for the Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award. The Macquarie Group Foundation chose The Ocean Cleanup because of the unique nature of the project, the boldness of its mission, and the motivation and dedication of the team. The award of $10 million (AUD) will be received over a five-year period.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary Macquarie Group, through its philanthropic arm the Macquarie Group Foundation, will award $10 million (AUD) to five non-profit organizations who have a project which will have a lasting community benefit.

Boyan Slat, CEO and Founder, said in response to being a recipient of the award: “It is very exciting to be one of the five nonprofits chosen for the Macquarie Anniversary Award. I am honored that they have chosen to support our mission. With this funding we will be able to begin designing our next cleanup system and make our way to scaling up to a full fleet.”

Those who are awarded have met a select criteria for eligibility, including: an organization who is a registered nonprofit, operations have been in place for at least three years, has an annual operating budget of a minimum $4 million (AUD), data and evidence must be provided to support the expected outcomes and proposals of the organization, and the proposed project must be delivered within five years of an agreed project timeline.

On behalf of the Macquarie Group Foundation, Mary Reemst, Chair, added: “The Ocean Cleanup is a bold idea to confront the significant challenge of restoring our ocean ecosystem. This is a unique opportunity to profoundly impact our environment, pursuing an ambitious solution to remove plastic waste from our oceans with significant benefits for wildlife, the food chain, and community health.”

In 2019, The Ocean Cleanup aims to reach proof of technology with its cleanup system that is currently deployed in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Once this is achieved, The Ocean Cleanup will begin to design, procure, and assemble our next system. The award funds will be used to facilitate the development of this next system and to begin the process of scale-up to a full fleet of cleanup systems.

The Ocean Cleanup is honored to have made it through the application process and to be one of the finalists of the Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award. With the support of the Macquarie Foundation, The Ocean Cleanup is making another important step towards realizing its mission of ridding the world’s oceans of plastic.

Further details about the Award and all the winners and their projects can be found on

Note for the editors, not for publication.

CFF Communications, Amsterdam
Jan van Ewijk / Claire Verhagen
T: +31(0)20 575 40 10

About The Ocean Cleanup
The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.

Founded in 2013 by Boyan Slat (25), The Ocean Cleanup now employs approximately 80 engineers and researchers. The foundation is headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Instead of going after plastic debris with vessels and nets – which would take many thousands of years and billions of dollars to complete – The Ocean Cleanup plans to deploy a fleet of long floating barriers that act like an artificial coastline, enabling the winds, waves, and currents to passively catch and concentrate the plastic. Once fully operational, the full fleet of passive collection systems is expected to remove 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch every five years’ time.

After years of conducting reconnaissance expeditions, scale model tests and the deployment of prototypes on the North Sea, the first ocean cleanup systems were deployed into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 2018 and 2019. Once proof of technology is achieved, The Ocean Cleanup can commence full-scale cleanup and begin removing vast amounts of ocean plastic that have been accumulating in the ocean for decades. The Ocean Cleanup is working with partners to design processes to convert recovered ocean plastic into valuable raw materials and durable products.