PLATINUM2023

American Friends of The Ocean Cleanup, Foundation

The Largest Cleanup in History

aka The Ocean Cleanup   |   New York, NY   |  https://theoceancleanup.com/

Mission

American Friends of the The Ocean Cleanup's primary mission is to preserve and protect the natural ocean environment for the benefit of the public. This includes promoting and supporting the efficient and environmentally friendly extraction of waste from oceans, seas and other waste areas as well as raising awareness of the global plastic problem. This also includes promoting and supporting the environmentally friendly recycling of such waste. This non-profit holds the role of a “Friends of” organization to Stichting The Ocean Cleanup in The Netherlands, and shares with it the joint mission of ridding the world's oceans of plastic. Therefore it works closely together with Stichting The Ocean Cleanup in order to realize this joint mission.

Notes from the nonprofit

Leading the largest cleanup in history

Ruling year info

2017

CEO & Chairman

Boyan Slat

Main address

228 East 45th Street Suite 9E

New York, NY 10017 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-5132355

NTEE code info

Engineering and Technology Research, Services (U40)

Marine Science and Oceanography (U21)

Pollution Abatement and Control Services (C20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Millions of tonnes of plastic enter the ocean every year. A significant portion of it accumulates in 5 ocean garbage patches, harming ecosystems, endangering marine species, and transferring toxic pollutants into the food chain. This plastic does not disappear by itself, and must be recovered before it breaks down into trillions of individual micro-plastics, causing much greater harm.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

The Ocean Cleanup - Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Millions of tonnes of plastic enter the ocean every year. A significant proportion of it accumulates in five ocean garbage patches, before breaking down into trillions of individual micro-plastics. Since 2018, The Ocean Cleanup has developed and scaled technologies to retrieve the plastic that has accumulated in these patches before it breaks down and becomes impossible to remove.

The Ocean Cleanup is now operating and scaling an active collection system (System 002), which as of summer 2023 has removed more than 225,000 kg of plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. We are now in the process of a phased transition to an improved System 03 - an upgraded version of System 002 scaled to three times its original size - that will allow us to catch larger volumes of plastic, with greater efficiency and lower environmental impact. This transition is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023.

Population(s) Served
Adults

As part of its mission to end marine plastic pollution, The Ocean Cleanup is also working to help "turn off the tap" by preventing more plastic from reaching the oceans. Our research has identified 1000 rivers (3% of global rivers) that are responsible for more than 80% of global riverine plastic emissions.

Having developed a range of Interceptor technologies designed to catch plastic under a variety of river conditions, The Ocean Cleanup is currently working to validate and refine this technology - with the ultimate goal of scaling up to tackle all of the world's most polluting rivers. As of summer 2023, Interceptor solutions have been deployed at 19 locations, across eight countries.

For our river projects, The Ocean Cleanup collaborates closely with regional partners, ensuring positive local impact, and safe processing and recycling of the waste that it collects.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Champion of the Earth 2014

United Nations Environment

50th anniversary award 2019

Macquarie

25 people that will shape the next 25 years 2018

Wired Magazine

The 25 Best Inventions of 2015 2015

Time Magazine

Forbes 30 under 30 2016

Forbes

The Heyerdahl Award 2017

The Norwegian Shipowners' Association

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of top 1000 rivers tackled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The Ocean Cleanup has to date deployed 12 Interceptor solutions across 8 countries in some of the world's most polluting rivers.

Total pounds of debris collected

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This figure represents the amount of floating waste removed by The Ocean Cleanup as of July 2023, combining cleanup efforts across The Great Pacific Garbage Patch and Interceptor river projects.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technologies to rid the world's oceans of plastic. The first garbage patch we aim to clean is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located between California and Hawaii. We will have succeeded once the average buoyant plastic concentration in the oceanic accumulation zones has seen a 90% net mass reduction, relative to 2018 baseline levels by the year 2040.

In parallel to cleaning the ocean garbage patches we will stem the inflow of more plastic pollution from rivers. Our research found that 1000 rivers are responsible for roughly 80% of the pollution, which we aim to tackle by 2025.

To be able to solve the problem, we must first understand it. This is why The Ocean Cleanup invests in large-scale scientific research, both into the sources of the plastic pollution as well as the extend of the problem.

In our technology development we work together with experts across the fields and we test often with fast iteration cycles. E.g. before launching our first cleanup system in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in October 2018, we had designed and tested 273 scale models and 7 prototypes.


To clean the rivers we are focusing on building long lasting consortia, with local and global partners. The consortia will be responsible for deploying and operating the Interceptor, and ensuring the (plastic) debris is processed in the best possible way.

In our US and Dutch foundation combined we have an international team of over 140 individuals, with more than 15 nationalities, and totaling over 400 years of combined offshore project and engineering experience. We have an experienced board, supervisory board and a scientific advisory board. In addition, we work together with multiple partners (e.g. Maersk, Boskalis, Latham & Watkins, Deloitte), universities and governmental agencies.

Ocean:
After 5 years of designing, testing and research, we deployed the first cleanup system in 2018. System 001 was still an experimental system, and challenges were expected. In 2019 we deployed System 001/B a modular test system. With these systems we achieved the following:
- Proof of concept
- Consistent speed through plastic
- Capturing plastic of all size classes (incl. microplastics)

In 2021 we successfully tested System 002, an active plastic collection system. Since 2021, System 002 has collected more than 225,000 kg of plastic from The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. As of 2023, we are in the process of scaling System 002 to a larger and improved System 03. This scale-up is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023.

Rivers:
Interceptors have been deployed at 19 locations in the world's most polluting rivers, across eight countries (USA, Thailand, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Guatemala, Dominican Republic). In addition, strong relationships have been built with regional stakeholders to ensure stability and local integration for the duration of our validation phase.


Key research achievements include:
- First complete map of Great Pacific Garbage Patch: by crossing the patch with 30 vessels and an airplane, we found it contains 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic weighing 100,000 tons.
- First global map of riverine plastic emissions: researching the plastic inflow from rivers to the marine environment, based on both modelling and field research.

Financials

American Friends of The Ocean Cleanup, Foundation
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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American Friends of The Ocean Cleanup, Foundation

Board of directors
as of 11/02/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Boyan Slat

Boyan Slat

The Ocean Cleanup

Rob Parker

US Coast Guard (Retired)

Carl van der Zandt

Hand Baldachin & Amburgey

Joy Gao

The Ocean Cleanup

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/10/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data