Episode Number: 1104
Episode Guest: Boyan Slat
Original Airdate: April 16, 2018
Episode Sponsors: Cash App, Onnit, Squarespace
Guest Bio: Boyan Slat is an inventor, entrepreneur, and former aerospace engineering student. He is the founder of The Ocean Cleanup organization.
Topics Discussed: Boyan’s TED talk; Great Pacific garbage patch; he’s only 23 but started this when he was 16 and founded the organization at 18; the issues with garbage in the ocean: ecosystem damage, economic threat, health impact; what prompted him to dedicate his life to cleaning the oceans; the project has morphed and changed over the years; the first system will be launched in 2018 off San Francisco; Asia is a big source of garbage in the ocean; the plastic in the ocean won’t go away unless we clean it up; we only realized the problem with garbage in the oceans in the ’90s; Captain Charles Moore; plastic in international waters is simultaneously everyone’s problem and no one’s problem; we need to use our pollution as a resource; the plastic in the ocean will be recycled and used to create products to be sold to raise more money for the project; Adidas shoes made from ocean plastic; they had to develop a new process for recycling the ocean plastic; the first shipment of plastic to be recycled will be collected by the end of the year; he will clean up half the garbage within five years; where he gets money from; The Ocean Cleanup has raised $35-$40 million; the process of recycling ocean plastic; plastic can be made from hemp or sugar; bio-base plastic doesn’t mean it’s biodegradable; his relationship with plastic as a consumer; we don’t need to live without plastic, but we need to manage it better; the plastic in the ocean stays on or near the surface; most of the plastic in the ocean isn’t tiny microplastic pieces; impact of plastic on species in the oceans; discarded fishing nets in the ocean; there is more plastic than food in the oceans for some sealife to eat; plastic in the sealife that we eat; don’t leave a plastic water bottle in a hot car; does plastic leave chemicals in the ocean; technology solving our environmental problems; the effectiveness of recycling; recycling in Europe; how does a water bottle get recycled; there’s little demand for recycled plastic right now; he has more ideas for solving problems; he has tried and failed at many things in the past; Joe thinks his excitement for cleaning the ocean is contagious; what will he do when the oceans are clean and pristine; he wants to get the ocean’s garbage to a 90% reduction by 2045; timeline for the future; he wants to inspire others to solve problems; (1:00:00) other peoples’ ideas for cleaning up the ocean plastic; other ideas he has for cleaning pollution; solving problems with the future in mind; overfishing in the oceans; lab-grown meat; checking email while a Tesla is driving itself; video of man sleeping while his Tesla is on autopilot; it’s amazing how few crashes there are due to self-driving cars; Joe is impressed and hopeful for self-driving cars; it will be difficult and then illegal to drive your own car in the future; Human Driving Association; he lives in Holland and rides a bicycle instead of driving a car; more Holland talk; Joe talks about the people from Holland he knows; Boyan likes San Francisco; his biggest support group is from the United States; his plastic-cleaning company can’t be profitable, but his company recycling plastic will make money; Joe thinks people will like buying products made from recycled ocean plastic; what he has planned for the future once the oceans are cleaned; he finds it intellectually satisfying to solve problems; what he was like as a kid; he organized the most water rockets ever launched; what he wants to do next.
Podcast Video: Below is a video of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast episode #1104 available for streaming via YouTube.
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