A Rotterdam-based The Ocean Cleanup global non-profit organization that develops methods to clean up the oceans of plastic has received a private donation of $25 million.

Co-founder of Samara and Airbnb Joe Gebbia contributed. In addition, he serves as chairman of, a nonprofit organization that houses those in need, and he is a member of Tesla’s board of directors.

Gebbia also supports women’s and young people’s participation in athletics and education. She does this through organizations like the Malala Fund and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

“I’m honored to collaborate with The Ocean Cleanup in their essential endeavor to remove dangerous plastics from our oceans,” adds Gebbia. Systems and technologies developed for the Ocean Cleanup genuinely function at scale. They now need to grow their funding to deploy across our rivers and oceans. My wish is that this gift will motivate others to take action.

Boyan Slat founded The Ocean Cleanup in 2013, which develops technology to eliminate trash from the world’s oceans. By using a two-pronged technique to block the input through rivers and remove legacy plastic that has already been collected in the ocean, it achieves this.

For the latter, the business develops elaborate systems to concentrate the plastic for continuous cleansing. This plastic is tracked and traced using DNV’s chain of custody method when it is recycled into new products to confirm origin statements.

System 002, a pilot-scale ocean cleanup system developed by The Ocean Cleanup, has been working in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch since 2021. This area of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and California is home to up to 100,000,000 kilograms of plastic waste.

This method has already retrieved close to 200,000 kilos (or around 440,000 pounds) of plastic that would have otherwise remained for decades or longer.

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By adopting preventive measures to gather more trash upstream before it enters the ocean, The Ocean Cleanup seeks to “shut the tap” on plastic pollution in the case of rivers.

The company’s Interceptor Solutions are currently in use or being tested in eight different countries; the most recent installations began operation in November and December of 2022 in Los Angeles County (US) and Kingston (Jamaica), respectively.

The group’s solutions have so far stopped nearly 4.5 million pounds (more than 2 million kg) of rubbish from polluting the ocean.

According to The Ocean Cleanup, the money will be used to support the later this year deployment of Technology 03, the most recent iteration of their ocean cleaning system, in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The funding will also assist the business in growing and carrying out its operations in the fields of recycling, scientific research, and rivers and seas.

“As a non-profit initiative with a great aim, we cannot do it alone – we need financial contributions to accomplish our goals,” explains founder Boyan Slat. The Ocean Cleanup’s global operations are directly impacted by Joe’s ongoing support of our work.

Image Credit: The Ocean Cleanup


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