Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary – Let’s clean up our environment!

The Ocean Cleanup is an organisation founded by Boyan Slat when he was only 19 years old. As a teenager, he felt passionate about reducing plastic pollution in the ocean and so he started developing a novel solution to clear up plastic floating in large bodies of water while still in high school. 

Since then, Slat has received a lot of publicity following his TED talk on his ocean cleanup idea and millions of dollars through crowdfunding to set his invention in motion. 

Four years after the creation of The Ocean Cleanup organisation, two Dutch national patents were granted for the plastic collection system describing Slat’s original idea for cleaning up the oceanNL2018882 B1 and NL2019839 B1. Using wind, waves and undercurrents in the ocean, the invention collects plastic of all sizes at the surface of the water using a “floating barrier”, leaving marine life below unaffected.  

The Ocean Cleanup organisation aims to clear the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located between Hawaii and CaliforniaIt is a floating collection of 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic; the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world. After years of testing and overcoming issues related to holding onto plastic in the floating barrier and the structural integrity of the solution, the Ocean Cleanup system was able to successfully capture plastic on a large scale in 2019. 

Here at Minesoft, we are excited by the future of environmental cleanup efforts. Sharing valuable knowledge and innovative ideas to help the environment is made easier by PatBase, our patent database. PatBase simplifies searching for technical information within patents from 106 jurisdictions, 74 of which are complete full-text collections. The intuitive search engine allows users to easily search by inventor or assignee names, as was done for this article to locate The Ocean Cleanup’s patents.  

Minesoft also actively takes part in helping to clean up the local environment around the headquarters in Richmond, Greater London. For example, Minesoft’s team has got involved with the annual summer Get On Board initiative to raise awareness and collect plastic (and litter in general) from around the River ThamesOn this day, hundreds of volunteers climb onto paddleboards and drift down the Thames, picking up as much litter as they can along the way. Minesoft was the main event sponsor of the event with The Bingham Riverside (Richmond) in 2018 and 2019. 

Some photos of the Minesoft volunteers at this event last year. 

Patents are a fantastic resource for R&D professionals and engineers who are researching existing solutions or looking for inspiration for their next project. To learn more about PatBase and to register for a free 2-week trial, click here: https://minesoft.com/our-products/patbase/