Uncover the most successful amateur projects that remove accumulated waste from the sea

The founder of a project to save the world´s oceans and the underwater world doesn´t necessarily have to be college graduate in the field of environmental protection to make an impact.

Sometimes just a good idea, toughness and the support of the environment is enough and from the amateur idea something truly unique can be born. As was the case for the next four projects.

All of them came about by chance but their basic idea eventually crossed the borders of their continent. Their creators have thus been able to attract admirers and supporters who have helped them translate the idea into reality.

The Ocean Cleanup – Boyan Slat


When Dutchman Boyan Slat was 16 years old he was diving with his family during his holiday in the waters of several Greek islands. Then he found out he was seeing a hoop of plastic bags and other waste in the sea but very few fish.

This unpleasant experience inspired him with the idea of ​​his high school project which basically kicked off his journey to an amateur engineer and environmentalist.

From the high school project it was just a step to attracting university professors from the Technological University in Delft.


Boyan insisted that plastic can be removed from the sea without much effort by using sea currents that will bring all the plastic waste to the built-in trap. With the help of scientists he founded the non-profit organization The Ocean Cleanup, whose primary goal is to remove a plastic island floating in the Pacific Ocean the size of Germany.

Ocean clean-up

This year in September engineers from Ocean Cleanup were supposed to launch the first 600 meters long prototype of floating trap.

Boyan slat technique of oceans clean-upFor the next five years, the plastic island floating in the Pacific Ocean should be completely removed. Source:

Captured ocean´s plastic is planned to be transported to the land where it will be sorted out and sold to partner organizations and corporations. Profit from this sale will later finance the launch of additional capture networks in the other three oceans.

4Ocean – Andrew Cooper and Alex Schulze


US surfers Andrew and Alex were unpleasantly surprised to find out when visiting the island of Bali that the plastic pollution on the beaches and the surrounding sea is really extreme.

They decided to do something about this situation so they borrowed a net from the local fisherman, with which they pulled their first kilogram of plastic waste from the ocean.

4ocean cleaning oceansSource:

However, it was neither the first nor the last time doing this and over the past two years Andrew, Alex and 150 associates had removed more than half a million kilograms of plastic waste from the sea.

They did not throw it out but they turned it into a simple bracelet that has since been sold under the auspices of their non-profit organization 4Ocean on the web. By purchasing a bracelet, people will encourage the collection of additional plastic waste trapped on beaches and in oceans.

The Seabin Project – Andrew Truton and Pete Ceglinski


At the beginning of The Seabin Project two surfers - Andrew and Pete stood for the ocean so strong that they had left their jobs and devoted themselves to the ocean life and environmental education.

The basics of the project on which they began working together is a specially constructed floating basket, the so-called seabin, which filters 25,000 litres of sea water in an hour. In addition to large waste, it can also trap plastics microparticles of only two millimeters in size.

The basket can capture up to 90,000 plastic bags, 35,000 plastic cups, 16,000 plastic bottles and 166,000 disposable plastic dishes and cutlery per year.

However, the main idea of ​​the whole project is not waste collection as it might seem at the first glance. The Seabin Project seeks to systematically educate the younger generation and speaks in particular about creating and discharging plastic waste into the surrounding nature and its devastating impact on the entire underwater world.

Pela Case – Jeremy Lang

Pela Case is not quite a typical project that seeks to remove plastic waste from the sea. On the contrary, his idea is trying to significantly limit its volume in the sea.

The Pela Case project is based on the prevention of the production of plastic waste which mainly consists of everyday items. Its founder Jeremy Lang therefore devised the first compostable mobile phone case.

pela-case-projectMotion for production of such a case was his son who encountered a pile of plastic rubbish buried in the sand on the beach while playing.

Finally, he decided to establish Pela Case which manufactures biodegradable packaging for mobile phones composed of flax straw and biopolymers.

For phone cases he decided mainly because it is an object over nobody seems to think a bit deeper. Jeremy, however, wanted to alter this common view with help of his friends.

With his partners he is currently planning to produce other articles such as flip-flops or belts.

Do you also know about other interesting projects to save the world's oceans? Or have you ever had an idea to improve your surroundings that you did not eventually realize? If so, let us know about it on our fanpage on Facebook. :)

More articles