« The Joe Rogan Experience

#1104 - Boyan Slat

2018-04-16 | 🔗
Boyan Slat is an inventor, entrepreneur and former aerospace engineering student. He is the founder of The Ocean Cleanup organization: https://www.theoceancleanup.com/
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
ladies and gentlemen well come to the show has ever done hope you up pretty fucking fired up for today today today double header today and two very interesting people but before that let's get to our sponsors do do do do do this episode of the podcast brought you by the cash app now the cash app has a copy here that i could read but one best things about the cash app that i could bring up to you guys it allows you to buy bitcoin cash app is a free app you down low from the google play store or from the app store you can send and receive money with friends and family it's very easy way to pay people back or get paid but it's also a great way to buy and sell bitcoin lot of
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isn't like half the size of texas or something is that what they said insane four times the size of california twice the size of texas something like that i'm not it's fucking huge there's five garbage patches all over the world and they're essentially these are is where the natural ocean currents and this plastic floats and collects there and it is immense and it's a gigantic problem and this one genius young man two upon himself to try to come up with a solution for how to fix this and it's a brilliant solution and very very interesting guy so please give it up for boy in slot
the joe rogan experience trying my day joe rogan podcast my name all day thank you thanks for doing this i really appreciate it and i love what you doing i've seen your ted talk i've seen many in numerous conferences it appeared at and discussions you've given on this and for people to the jump into this right now what you've done is think long and hard and devise a method to try to clean up some of the plastic that we have floating around in the ocean famously the pacific garbage patch this enormous patch of garbage is between in hawaii how did you involved in this and what you're a young guy how old are twenty three already twenty three already you sound like
oh my god i'm so how old are you when you started this i think it started thinking about this when i was sixteen and founded this organization windows eighteen that's crazy all you lazy fuck it's out there that are sixteen years old that aren't doing shit with your life just think about this kid that's amazing i'm so happy is people like you in the world thank you so when you start thinking about it when you were sixteen an you know this is something that is extremely disturbing to anybody that's paid attention especially when you see the birds that have died with these plastic bottle caps inside their bodies and you know you see their carcasses with these multi colored caps in them and they thought these things were food was just one of the many many many problems that occur when you have plastic floating around in just enormous numbers in the ocean
sure yeah i mean this really three problems with this plastic first of all obviously the ecosystem damage i think there're round about eight hundred species that actually could go extinct because of this plastic pollution then there's the economic threat in terms of damage to fisheries damage to tourism and things like that i think it's around thirteen in dollars a year according to the un and then thirdly there's the health impact or the potential health impact because these tiny plastic pieces then trails end up in the fish we eat that take chemicals with it and yeah that ends up on our dinner plate as well so what was it that prompted you to dedicate actually dedicate your young life to this sure yeah so i've i've always been very passion about technology and just building things i think sort of having
an idea in your mind and then seeing that become reality mail to touch it and things like that i think there's literally no better feeling in the world than that so i've been building my own thing since it was two years old i think first starting with things like tree houses and zip lines but then going into sort of computers and explosives and rockets and things like that which is a lot of fun but it wasn't very useful i would say so it's kind of looking for something sort of something that real to to to work on a real problem and that what i'd been came across when it was says sixteen years old with scuba diving in greece and i came across a small plastic bag the fish and i wondered why can't we just clean this up and that question sort of kept circling around in my head and sort of thought about how could we do this the ocean is pretty big and then eventually
came up with this idea to use these natural ocean currents to let us collect the plastic and so how do you have many different prototypes did you started with and you eventually want up with what you have now and have you started implementing him yet oh yeah so the concept that was presented back in twenty twelve with my first text oak and if you compare that to where we are right now it's sort of day and night of a difference so through testing and through all these prototype ings yeah obviously there has been a lot development there but the key idea has stayed the same that instead of going after the plastic with boats and nets which will take round about seventy nine thousand years to to clean up justice great pacific garbage patch instead of doing that we let the plastic come to us so use basically in network a fleet of very long floating barriers which are oriented in au shape and they float
mount and they kind of act like a massive pregnant so it's like a like a funnel brings the plastic towards it a demetra ocean currents push it against it moves towards the enter becomes very concentrated once it's concentrated well then it's easy to get it out and ship it to land for recycling hasn't started yet so the past so four years ago in that time on one side we did the reconnaissance so we we met the patch with thirty boats in an airplane at the same time to understand how much is out there which turns out to be one dot eight trillion pieces floating in this great pacific garbage patch and on the other hand we've done all the test thing so we done hundreds of scale model tests we've done prototypes back in europe on the north sea right now we're manufacturing the first real clean up system which is to be launched from san francisco to the great pacific garbage patch in around two or three months time
so has anything been used like is there a proof of concept of you've done like real large scale testing where you've shown that you can actually do this well you've done a lot of subsystem testing for the the prototypes in the n sea for example where are these twelve meet sections and we we managed to to keep that in one piece so but then also the is the capturing that work very well in the lab but the real real proof of course has to come from this one real system in the great pacific garbage patch collecting plastic and that's what we really hope to achieve this so this is the big one right the great pacific garbage patch the largest yes it is tough between california and and how and why yeah so that the five areas in the world where where plastic concentrates this is by far the largest one or four others but they are they combined lee contain less plastic than this one in the in the north
do we know why that is pretty is asia so asia has a has quite a big problem in terms of that they they use a lot of sick but they don't have a good infrastructure so by far the largest source of plastic flowing into the ocean is also this one continent and what's being released their naturally bite because of the currents ends up in this n pacific patch is such a strange problem because is it wasn't something that was discussed in the 80s or the 90s it was nothing and then all the sudden somewhere in the year two thousand i remember hearing about the massive amount of plastic we have in the ocean and it just it just made sense i was like oh well of course of course it's going to wind up there but the show here size of it is staggering yeah and i think that to me worrying thing is that it's a it's a persistent problem so now with many other kinds of pollution's when you sort of turn off the tap it's it will be sold by itself think about for the
the the ozone hole with the cfcs but with this like if you turn on the tap the problem is still there and in a hundred years it will still be there so i think to truly solve it you need to do two things at once that we have to close that app on the other hand we also need to clean it up jamie just pull a page a size comparison where it shows one dot six million square kilometres an area twice the size of texas or three times the size of france yeah so this is a study if you a few weeks ago so this was the result of the reconnaissance effort was kind of funny every other news outlet used a different size comparison so i think with cnn that says with size of mongolia we always has yet texas where america yeah we used texas for everything for the california so yeah so yeah it's pretty pretty big area this insane and then it's getting bigger i'm sure yeah
so the i mean the area doesn't really change is more the concentration concentration when did you've realized that this was an issue like collectively scientists geologists so there hasn't been that have been sort of small sampling effort since the 70s back then it was the first time plastic was described as being something that floats in the oath but it really only enter the public consciousness i think in the late 90s there was this captain charles moore who was sort of sailing through it and he saw this plastic and he was like we need to describe this and then he did a scientific paper on it and yeah and actually i think he was the one that turned the term great pacific garbage patch he was riding his boat through it for a long period of time i guess yeah i think it was participating in some sailing race and he went through it and then yeah he just saw that
so he was the sort of the canary in the coal mine i guess yeah yeah so what is it one of those things where it's hard to get different governments to act on this because you know it cuz responsible for the ocean yeah i think it's uh sort of this tragic tragedy of the commons right where hertz international watered sort of everyone's problem but at the same time legal it's no one's problem so so yeah and besides that but i really i felt when i started the ocean cleanup was that basic everyone wanted the problem to be solved but at the same time we didn't really have a way to do it that way there wasn't any technology to do that and that's why i thought well i'm parts is an opportunity to cut combine my interests of a solving this problem would be also developing techno which is that what we did is there anyone else doing this
so there are many organizations working on the on the prevention inside right so educating people think about policies those kind of things which is very important i think but unfortunately we're the only ones that sort of do the the heart technology side of it and yeah i wish more people do it if somebody else would the ocean that be fine with us as well but until somebody else does it yeah is kind of the ones i have to do that's so fascinating to me the other seven billion people on the planet sometimes it really does just take one person to to act one person do something about something that mean i'm aware of many people aware of many people live we heard about this and it's sort of those things in the back of your mind that doesn't affect you on a daily basis so you say well that's a tragedy that's a terrible thing but it's not my problem i have my own problems but you this one
person decided to do something about it and the fact that you did when you were sixteen is so fascinating to me and someone has to do it right right but it not weird someone has to but nobody was doing shit until you can find that very interesting yeah yeah it's sometimes wonder yeah sometimes people ask me i've why why do you do it and i my answer would why not why why isn't everyone didn't my thing i was thinking was and this is my same feeling about pollution air pollution is that once they figured out a way to use whatever is in the particulars in air pollution as a resource sure and make it valuable then p we're going to be running to extract it out of this guys and i felt the same way about the pacific garbage patch and all the other ocean currents where they have this issue so what is it the currents bring every
thing together collectively into one area just because of the way the ocean moves exactly yeah they have these sort of part of the equator and then you have these boundary currents and it sort of acts like the like the sinking your best up right so it's sort of where all the plastic once you go now is it possible to take that stuff all of that pacific all those disgusting part call zan use it for something yeah i mean sure actually have few examples with me in my bag but right here right now we go grab it do you wanna grab it do it but i can describe it podcast anyways so so what we do is we take the plastic out and we we recycle that we've done developed a process for this we can turn it into new products so actually the pair of sunglasses that are finally being able to wear after a dreaded northern european winter
they where already made that out of plastic that we took out of the great pacific which batch so you're wearing sunglasses that are recycled from the ocean exactly and the idea is that we can do anything with this right so you can imagine sort of the part of you next car or your chair or whatever you can make that out of ocean plastic and what we i think that the material itself isn't valuable enough but it's really the store story behind it so the fact that you can say well it's made out of the great pacific garbage patch which we think will add value so it's like the difference between a normal pebble and the piece of the berlin wall it's one is worth shit and the other is worth something so that's what we can do to use as a way to to then be able to find the the operations of the i think that the fence stick idea and i think that will be a huge value for people i mean i think people really want to buy something that they know is recycled out of something that was choking fish and birds to death yeah not only that
but he does is turning plastic from the ocean into two hundred dollars shoes sportswear maker is teaming up with something three new shoes made with plastic pulled from the ocean wow that's awesome that kind of stuff you can do so i mean in this example so adidas actually didn't use plastic from the ocean they i think they just said that for marketing reasons they make that from plastic that sort of they call it ocean bound so how line mother fuckers goddamnit they got him that's bullshit so it's on the way to the ocean yeah which i guess is any could be fuck you was like we were going to throw it up who started make sneakers that's horrible i mean still matching perhaps some of those do you have some of those that they are very cool i like i like and i like the the people that work on it that's all cute and everything but that's a lie yeah yeah why
little bit yeah but yeah so i mean the the composition of plus it will be pulling out of the ocean is is pretty unique it's it's quite degraded because of the decades of uv light hitting it so so we we had to develop a new process to do this so probably maybe in a year or so it will be actually be able to launch the first line of products made out of real the real deal the plastic actually coming out that's excellent so you're going to sell like rob pastikan and is there an issue of who owns the plastic mean even it could is in the commons of the ocean in international waters i think it be hilarious if somebody would sort of raise their hand and say that's my plastic put it in there i think then we have another kind of legal issue yeah but becomes a resource like oil yeah yeah there's some there's like this the salvage laws to save view sort of salvage something issue oceans you can actually keep it so that
appear to be an issue but yeah and it will be yeah sort of closing the circle we have some yeah i mean it sounds it sounds like an amazing thing and i guarantee people would be very very interested to buy things that they know were made out of something that was really horrible have the choice between a normal let's use the sunglass example again normal pair or a pair coming out of the ocean i think nine out of ten p would choose that for sure i mean i think it would be giant for companies to to advertise that we only use one hundred percent recycled from the ocean plastic i mean that would be gigantic how long do you think it would be before this could be a reality so the first system is
currently being assembled so we are renting a former naval base in at the san francisco bay where it's currently being put together it's it's still red pretty small system it's two thousand feet in length so eventually they'll be almost double the size but this is this one will be launched in pretty late june early july then we'll take it out the first the first deployment will not yet be directly in the patch so we're just deploying it round three hundred miles of the coast just to make sure that it works well sort of a final rehearsal if that goes well then by pretty around august we should ready to take it all the way to the patch and hopefully soon after that collect the first plastic and then we hope to have the the first shipment of first plastic back back import before the end of the year and we think that will be you know such a symbolic moment for for sixty years man has been putting plastic into the ocean and from that moment onwards were also taking it back out again that's amazing and you
i feel like you can get forty percent of the garbage patch in ten years it's actually so with with a fleet of sixty of these clean of systems we should be able to clean up half this great pacific garbage patch every five years which of course more tomorrow and then you could get some credit if you want more if you put in more systems of course where are you guys getting funding from sofa we've been very generously ordered by but mostly individuals actually so ranging from some people that just donate fifty bucks to people like marc benioff is the founder of salesforce and a couple of other very high worth individuals that if someone wanted to donate how would they do so yeah just go to the outsidetheoceancleanup dot com and feel free to get in touch with us so mostly individuals mostly wealthy philanthropists yeah so has gotten us to around thirty five to forty million dollars right now which has been enough to
and all these years of research and development the whole mapping of the patch as well as the construction of this first system right now so so that should get us to the point where proven technology and then for the scale up the idea is that basically any company can go in front their own system we estimate the cost of every system to be around five million basically you know the system will be around kilometer that's plenty of space for logos the world is watching like this massive billboard floating out there so we had it any company can sort of fun or individual even some of the rating system nike could be like fuck you adidas we're actually doing this for real just kidding adidas that would be hilarious yeah it would be hilarious yeah so what the process in taking the plastic from the ocean and converting into usable plastic like that you would use and sunglasses i'm so the first thing you do is you kind of
you wash it you sorted you scrub it to to get to sort of these very clean sort of fragments of the plan sick then we we do there's a process called compounding where you sort of re melt it and add some some additives and make it into what you call palette so these are sort of these beat feist's apart ghosts which can be fed into any machine in the books so say and i kia machine for furniture or tesla machine for for cars and yeah so that so and that process we we can add to custom develops tailor made for for our feet stuck because it's such a unique composite that's amazing it's really fascinating because i think that that will be hugely desirable for form of construction like if you can prove
that the plastic that you use was made and it is actually it's a a benefit to you to get that plastic and and and make things out of it yeah i mean the it's still more expensive obviously than just normal plastic sure we have to collect it from one thousand two hundred miles offshore but on the other hand so just by selling it as plastic i don't think that would be a good business but making into sort of going further into value chain up to the i think that can make sense because again to use the sunglass example it's probably around one hundred grams of material so that would take about maybe a dollar to collect and you know what's a dollar on one hundred and twenty dollars pair of sunglasses right so i think that really going all the way up to in the value chain that's where you can really add well you know one of the things that was she
talking to me when i was investigating plastic is that i didn't know that plastic you can make plastic out of hemp that hemp plastic is they biodegradable yeah and sugar cane and there aren't many sir by a base the types of plastic but the thing is though that there is in this is very very serve complicated sink controversial bolt of of sort of the bio plastics because you have something called by a based and and your cynical biodegradable so you can make plastic out of say sugar cane which is chemically exactly the same as plastic that was made from crude oil and it foods take the same amount of time for it to do great so by obeys doesn't necessarily mean it's it's biodegradable and and vice versa so so it's yeah it's a very complicated world that even you know sometimes and i her experts on this among plastic pollution being confused about it sir let alone sir the general population so
and in short there isn't yet sort of the holy grail of this type of plastic that on one hand is very good in terms of performance in usable life and then when it for example into the ocean just degrades in in a matter of days or months so but i think that would be no that will be great and if it is the quality of biodegradable plastic inferior to bio based but non biodegradable yeah words and it's mostly limited in the in the terms of applications you can really do i like the good is the the actual physical plastic does it feel different to the touch have you yeah so usually makes more noise it's more sort of crumbly so brittle or something interesting well that makes sense right obviously
so if you're going to make water bottles out of biodegradable plastic there probably going to leak everywhere yeah yeah that's that's not possible yet so they're composed about that's another thing you have composable plastic which which you can use for water bottles but then the only way for it to degrade to would be to be in sort of this industrial composer we have a temperature of a hundred degrees and and pressure and things like that and it wouldn't be great in the ocean so it's very complicated area yeah and i know that there had paul stamets on who's in my colleges and he was talking about all the different fungus that could be potentially engineered to eat plastic yeah this is another thing that they're working on yeah so uh of course it would be great to have on landfills i think yeah and actually
that the press is the world's investigating for for recycling because one thing you could do is you could take the plastic and then using either enzymes or indeed funk funk guy and things like that you could turn it back into biomass so and and from the bio mat she could make anything else against they could make by bass bass for so does this change your relationship with plastic i mean when you sit there and you drink you know this plastic bottle do you think i might have to clean this thing up some day yeah a bit yeah and last i mean yeah but on the other hand i'm also not against plastic because i realize that without plastic say modern medison would be very difficult that plastic a lot more foodways could be produced and without plastic we wouldn't be able to clean the ocean because actually a lot of the components of our clean up system actually maybe you can pull up an image of the thing being built right now it's yeah pleased with them
so that's actually a lot of the parts of that are made out of out of plastic so so it's kind of ironic yeah put embolism yeah yeah so here it is by far solving fire fire so yes i don't think we can live without plastic and it don't think we you want to i think it's really just about managing the material in a way that it doesn't end up in the ocean which means that it comes back to the fear of being valuable enough at the end of life because if if it's cheaper to recycle than to not recycle then obviously it would happen and there needs to be good infrastructure for that and then i think is a final final safety net we need technologies like this to sort of intercepted in river miles as well as sort of clean up the legacy of the sixty years that we're having in the middle of the ocean but i don't think we can
with that plus no i don't think so either not yet and are when you're looking at the water and you see the plastic that is in this pacific garbage patch on the other the other four patches how deep does that plastic go from the surface so for most of the plastic really stays on or near the surface so we've we've done expeditions to that for that to measure it and that's actually why our system only goes three meters deep because that's below that there's virtually no plastic any more interesting so it's only about nine feet so when you're when you see the little tiny itty bitty pieces so it seems like as the plastic breaks down over decades it becomes like almost the gelatinous sort of chunky thing yeah i'm different it's called the micra plastics are you sort of these particles that that look of it almost like grains of sand
which serves a really small even those we we measured are primarily in those top three meters are nine feet in it so and and another split surprising finding i think from from those x patience was that still more than ninety nine percent of the plastic is larger than a millimeter so larger than those very tiny pieces which means that on one hand i think that's good news because that means it's not too late because obviously the smaller get the more harmful they get they end up in the food chain but they also are harder to clean up so so it's one and it's not too late so that's the good the good news i think but on the other hand it also means they're still ninety nine percent of the plastic out there that over the next few decades will become michael plastics as well if we don't clean it up so this sort of this ticking time bomb out there that know if we just leave it there the man of my classes could increase
is over a hundred fold over the next few decades and then we will be in a much worse situation than we are today so have marine biologist done studies on the impact in that particular area in terms of populations of fish and marine life yes so so there's many species that that are being affected one side due to ingestion on the on the other side through entanglement so action under finding over study was that almost half of the plastic by mass is things like ropes and and fishing net which of course disastrous well for the for propellers for boats that go out there look at that photo indeed sofa reparable photo of a turtle that mean it looks like it's caught in a bush it just this massive net that this thing is swimming around with this thing attached to his body that's one of the things i was going to ask you about is cleaning up the nets because
we had talked to someone does explain that every time they fish a lot of times they'll cut the nets lose yeah so it's pretty combination of accidental loss and in and intentional loss but yeah i mean the amount of nets really was quite quite staggering and do you member who was bringing that up jamie's uh if somebody brought that up that they just released the nets and that it's commonplace and it was stuck i think as we were like what every time and they do that yeah the nets get cut in you know they get damaged so they just cut the nets loose in the nets are plastic too so that put that since i mean that that's legal that they do that they don't have yeah it's not lego but it's not illegal now but that this other loss for this but obviously now how do you know that people do that sits right very hard to to my enter in the middle of the ocean yeah i mean i guess you
you probably have some sort of a gps tracking on your net yeah i mean that could be one thing or you could think about need market based solutions where there would be a financial incentive if they bring their nets to shore yeah and some sort of a penalization if they don't what is this jamie the checked in abandoned ocean fishing nets on marine life i've been chris reiner duncan ok that makes sense ha man that is just so it's so sad that it's such a wasteful dismissive sort of thing to do just cut it loose and it's gone yes in the ocean no worries sure so that's i mean very obvious kind of impact and then
another thing that that was also study dumbass recently so we looked at the the the concentrations of plastic for is is naturally occurring millet marine life in this garbage batch and that what we saw was that there is a hundred and eighty times more plastic at the surface than sort of natural food for for birds and for turtles and things like that so you can imagine if you are a turtle at this the surface of this garbage patch and you sort of take a bite to to eat there is a hundred eighty times larger chance if you eat plastic rather than a piece of clinton right right and what we found was that this this concentration is so high that it can actually have this this chemical impact where were these chemicals have a potential health impact on the organisms as well as species further up the the food food web including us humans so have we notice that have people been tested
and shown to have ingested plastic that they've gotten through eating too or something like that so the plastic itself is the thing that chemical yes chemicals that attached to the plastic and them to for example you see is that the for example in greenland like the the the native communities that really rely on fish they have much higher cancer rates they have much higher concentrations of mercury as of other heavy metals as well as these persistent organic pollutants he thinks that attach to the press a to the plastic in greenland yeah like the like the these of these native communities that rely on fish and and other sea life to so do their duty this is a recent trend that they have higher rates of cancer yeah i think i dunno how rescinded its but pretty in past few decades i can imagine but
yeah that's really linked to their their marine their consumption of marine sources but of his it's hard to say well how many percent of that is just heavy metals yet for this for this what's coming by plastic but sure if you yeah if you look at that the kind of chemicals and you look at the lab tests that they've done with that those chemicals yeah they are not very good for you now i've heard that if you leave a water bottle like this in your car and it gets hot out that the water will plastic will leach into the waters are correct yeah so i think it depends on the kind of plastic which you have i think with this you probably liner would contains like plates and and things like that so yeah i wouldn't do that so there's no we look at chemicals you have if two kinds of things you should i think worry about one chemicals that are actually in the plastic and secondly there's these chemicals that
this is slowed around in the ocean and then can attach to the plus sick when they because they sort of act like this chemical sponge plastic wants to repel water and those chemicals to so they can act like a magnet towards each other the latter one it's it's well studied and we see that a lot on the on the on on the plastic but the the the former one yeah i mean it's it's even an issue here in your car for example it's an issue in your car like how so yeah well if you leave it like in a hot car right right right now my question was is even if you're scooping out all that plastic out of the ocean is it still leaving chemicals will will never be able to get out i'm so i think the chemicals mostly actually it it collects more chemicals than it sort of leeches at so because of those those sort of legacy chemicals like the the pc bees and indeed
t those things that we use for insulators and pesticides back in the maybe the 40s to 60s so these he's actually the plastic attracts those chemical so in a way you can have also remove a bit of those chemicals and we actually have to wash them out before we do the recycling because you don't want those in your products so there's actually some sort of a benefit to having those plastics in the water mean now you would encourage people to put plastic in the water but there is something natural benefit yeah i mean it's sort of yeah yeah i mean i i i i can't really say how many percent of those legacy chemicals we would be putting out with the plastic but yeah i mean you could say you could argue it's sort of an an an added benefit
to removing it not to having plastic in rhyme now i have you extended this line of thinking to the some of the other problems in the ocean like these heavy metals well sir i whatever you hope is that the bring up can sort of become a symbol of how we should use how we should this technology to solve problems of our time so when you and i think a lot of it comes down to that we show and sort of protest what we should agree with but we should builds the things we should build a future that we do agree with so when you look at the past few hundred years of modernity in and our civilization what we see is dramatic positive trends in terms of health wealth education financing it steven pinker on your show so i think that's really
yeah really positive trends and we've done a good job in that and that all comes down to our ability to imagine things that don't exist yet so technology and innovation and being able to work work together in an effective way which is think about the corporation so i think those have been very good trends and i think what should do is we should also think about how to apply those to the area outside of our own species and to to the rest of the environment because when you look at all those positive trends of the past two hundred years and then yeah that that's a good but there is one very big exception which is the impact to the environment it's almost like we've had all the success at the cost of
environment and but i think that instead of there are some people that have a sort of a more reactionary feel to this and they said well look at all these problems that was created by businesses and by technology so we should stay as far away from those things as possible and i think that's sort of you know that sort of but i think that it really just shows that these are very powerful ways of getting things done and i think a much more effective way was to apply that what
it's worked in other areas and then also apply that to the area of the environment so that i don't think you know at at for example think that the the car problem is not going to be solved by banning cars i think it's going to be so by electric carts and i don't think the the the meat pollution problem is going to be solved by everyone becoming vegan i think it's going to be solved by things like lab grown meat and and other kind of alternatives so and that's why i also think that yeah you're thinking of the plastic pollution problem is not going to be solved by sort of people trying to do their own bits of bits and you know trying to live without plastic or things like that i think is going to be solved by you know things like plastics that do not harm to the environment as well
technologies like the oj clean up to of clean up after itself so yeah and i hope that there's a clip can be a sort of a some a symbol of that approach i like we just said there because i i've always thought that technology will most likely sort out most of these issues if we apply enough attention to it and that one of the real issues is when someone create some sort of a new technology they really don't have the ability to see fifty year who's down the line what's going to happen with the side effects the residual effects and i think that's a big part of what happened with plastic and i don't think the solution is making max out of a piece of rock and living in the woods i think that the solution is trying to have a long term comprehensive approach to how we use various analogies and also very resources so that we don't have another pacific garbage
patch in some new technology five thousand two hundred years from now i mean if you into the ocean two hundred years ago you would see none of this so is a very very very recent issue that's compounding at a staggering rate sure yeah that is sucks i agree with what you say there and yeah it's yeah it's it's really just about so i don't think it i think there's most people that think that technology is inherently neutral like it's not good or bad but i think that's not true if you like compare some some bioterrorist weapon which you could invent or could invent a machine to clean the ocean i would say i would do those are not equally good things to do to develop so when technology isn't inheriting neutral it means it's sort of deterministic so the inventor kind of puts a certain direction in the pro it already and i think that can be used in our advantage or to phrase a different yeah i think there is a risk
once ability at with inventors and entrepreneurs to build things that are we're good then then bad and actually plastic out still argue the classic is a net positive technology and it was once invented as a solution it it saves a lot of weight a lot of people got hurt when my people use glass bottles and things like that so back in the day this was invented as a as a solution but it has this negative side effects and then i think we should now think about what what to vote technologies can we develop to manage that negative side effect and probably does have again a small negative side effect for you can think about it like a a compounding serve staircase of of net positive technologies like i think eventually that's how we can actually solve these problems so in this country there's a tremendous amount of recycling but how effective is that recycling yeah that i think the the
amount of recycling is actually pretty low in the in the us compared to other countries yeah we think we do everything better over here yeah what country is the best at it like germany or switzerland this kind of countries are really and what do they do differently they just type i just put more money in it and i think most of the waste in the us is actually being landfilled so what's used to be recycling she was sent to china but now i think this year last year i said well no we don't want your waist anymore so now i think there will be a lot of investments in new recycling facilities in the now how does that get recycling say if you use this water bottle and you you empty in the throat and recycle container what happens so yeah i mean very much depends on on the location but
to just use an example of where i live in back in holland so they they actually collect the plastic separately then it goes to a facility where they sort the different kinds of plastic they get out all the contaminants and make them into two new pellets and the prod there is really the the lack of demand for recycled plastic because i think a lot of companies that yeah the the bill products because basically virgins a new plastic is so cheap they'd rather just do what they're used to and you know not they don't want to see any risks with their material so they just choose for the safe option the new kind of plastic so i think if you want to do if you want to promote recycling i would actually say well promotes the use of recycled material because as long as there's a demand then the price will go up and
and then automatically more recycling would would happen yeah very little demand for recycled plastic like it's not something that you hear about on a regular basis like people that are clamoring to get only recycled plastic yeah and i think that i think maybe that's that could be a nice side effect of what we do because we can kind of make this sort of recycled plastic a bit more sexy yeah i was going to say sorry too perfect word yeah i think that's exactly what it is have you extend this line of thinking to other environmental concerns like pollution in terms of like chemical spills and in the air and things along those lines yeah hi i have quite a few more ideas i would say but yeah i've i would really really wouldn't be good for to clean it if i would get distracted by what i want you to find those ideas off to other people because i think guys like you or insanely valuable like that one person
and really did sort of create the seed and get this project moving it's it's very unusual out liars like yourself would you be very humble guy i'm sure you don't think of yourself now are you most certainly are it it's one of the most valuable things about civilizations the occasional person who's caps out amongst the masses and does something pretty radical that almost everybody around them was aware was an issue and that's what you're doing yeah i think that could be much more people that do thing yeah i think i would think so but i don't see it that's what it's so fascinating about guys like you is that this is not a very calm something to do but it's a very common problem yeah well maybe that's because it when you hear about people doing cool cool it's usually when they're already sort of doing those things and it's not when they kind of started thinking about this so then i guess people could be intimidated like how
i don't know how to run a company of a hundred people i don't know how to at and how to get these things done but you know when i look back at myself for five years ago i i have ready do to have a bloody clue of what i was doing well you were a baby yeah exactly five years ago eighteen yeah yeah that's a baby i wasn't even born now so that it doesn't matter i mean it's it's about just getting started sure and being with to learn and just being open to feedback and just trying many different things and seeing what works what doesn't work of a special begin have done like hundreds of things that didn't work and yeah the first you might try to fund raising i send a cold email to three hundred companies and ask to ask for sponsorship and i think one replied and said this is horrible idea it should go back to school so that was
print that one yeah put that one on your wall will do that's a good idea so that was very successful in then yeah i i try to cut funding and raise a few million bucks and allowed us to get started so is not answering yeah so it's just about sort of doing this trial and error to just like we do out of the technology in a very attractive session it's also about this developing yourself i think in a in an entry to fashion and and sort of just just get started what but my point being is that when someone like you does make something happen once you get the ball rolling you can be a catalyst for so many other projects getting launched because it's attached to you like you for a person like you've got the fire ok you got the fire so you put the fire over here now this fire will start here you bring an ember to this project this can start and it's seems to me that getting that fire getting that initial ember is one of the most we called aspects in creating any sort of technology and
especially in terms of some being so complex where you're extracting things that are potentially danger from the environment in creating a net positive effect and then using that plastic to recycle this so much good karma lack of a better word attached to something like that and ends for a purse like me when i hear that your sunglasses are made from the pacific garbage patch i get excited i'm like ooh where can i buy these fucking sunglasses next year yeah well now by i'll that day let's get exciting to people so it seems to me that this excitement that you're bringing is contagious you could potentially use it to spread other ideas that could also be environmentally pot
yeah well i certainly hope that other people will think about sort of what kind of the ocean cleanup can i build which isn't cleaning plastic from the ocean so so help people sort of already do that but yeah i mean it's a good good point they should sort of think about what to do with these other ideas yeah few of them are sort of so excited about that kind of want to do myself eventually which would not be in the next years but do you have like a long term plan for all this stuff going to do a few the oceans are all beautiful and blue you like shit now i do and it goes really to help ourselves out of business right so one day we hope we're done right i don't want to be that the coverage man of the ocean forever third the best time so thirty at the beep
did target that we set for there's a clean up was to really get to a ninety percent reduction by by twenty forty which is that's incredible to think is achievable both on the influx side and the the stock side but yeah so but i think that already before that said i think it in if maybe yeah five as for now it will just be sort of a steady operation and then for me it did would be very exciting anymore i would i would be involved until really the end but maybe yeah maybe at some point in time i would be able to sort of bra in my time over multiple project but that's now that's at least years away because yeah of course there's still a lot of things we need to have to need to first prove the technology is first and foremost this year then we have to scale up raise hundreds of million
to to build this entire fleet at than the for more patches in the world we need to make it into a self sustainable business and then we also need to think about what can we do on the source that so it is quite a few two pieces of the puzzle still there to be to be found and put together yeah so i won't be for the next few years for sure you certainly won't be one of the reasons why i'm asking this about you and what your ideas are with cleaning up other problems in the world's because there's millions of people listening to this and there might be another boy and out there who's a young kid who says well why don't we do this or how come this hasn't been done why why isn't someone tried this and next thing you know because
one is figuring out how to extract heavy metals of the bottom of the ocean sure i think the other thing that will be will be great and yeah i definitely welcome people to sort of just to start and yeah what kind of other thought so i think another thing that's important then when people try and solve problems is that they
i actually think about how to solve the problem i think there's a lot of people that are very yeah very user of well meaning and they want to get involved but then what happens is that they sort of think about so at the second kind of make a dent in and hopefully that dan sort of gross but i think what's what love people forget to do is that monday sort of starts tackling the problem they forget to serve look at the whole problem first and see well sort of what's required to actually solve the whole problem and then sort of reason your way back to well what's the first step that i need to take because if you don't do that well then i think it will be
very hard to kind of get the scale you need to actually sort of self solve the problem so and it's yeah i can imagine can be quite intimidating to to think about that but yeah i think that woods get is too much more effective solutions to serve this surf top down problem solving as a wood calling instead of sort of this bob bottom up of some problems of so when have you talked to anybody that also had an idea of how to clean up the pacific garbage patch now read about other proposals from the fast for sure but no one is really actively pursued anything no well i mean the thing is of course all this uh other ideas were based on sort of boats and nets that would go fishing for plastic taking seventy nine thousand years for just one patch there was one that i saw that looked like some gigantic floating thing it looks like a spaceship
it's kind of like moving across the surface skimming it is that one of those we actually there's some artist impression of one of referred earlier concept yeah i think that's probably what so yeah that was that was that was hours what other i mean if you don't mind talking about them what other ideas have you had in terms of like cleaning things up yeah i'm kind of hesitant to to talk about that but i mean this this thank you for other problems out there so if you just think about that big problems are at their how about yeah i usually so what i do is actually i that is out of my head because because sort of once you have an idea to the stars to grow and then and sometimes you know with with any project you're doing their their these weeks that things don't go very well and sort of everything seems
begin chuan in those weeks is all it's very tempting to start thinking about well of this other idea and you know sort of starts to grow and should be careful that doesn't take over your entire month so i don't know what you're saying is getting too scattered and spread out yeah so i think it's fair importance for the claim to have turn is that i stay one hundred percent focused on what we do if there's one mission rid the oceans of plastic and that's what we're doing so what i usually do that sort of write them down in in my notebook and keep it next to my bed and that's where it stays until you know made few years from now so pretty when you were to ask the likes of what's the top three ideas other ideas that you have i wouldn't be able to wouldn't even be able to say that because that yeah this is out of my head and then i'd really try to keep it there
but i mean what what i can say is that they're all sort of technology base so they are all things that aren't possible now but i want to make possible in the future and they're sort of all the connected in terms of negative side effects of yeah of civilization and trying to sort of yeah make sure that that doesn't backfire to us of what i was like to do is i try to think like mom if we sort of try to imagine a future in ten thousand years from now now how do we make sure that the civilization is there but seeming out humanity still there as any further out just in general life can can prosper and yeah when i look at if i try to extrapolate that the car
the situation to the next ten thousand years i don't think we're at that point yet but i think it's it's a challenge that will have to solve well it's certainly a challenge that we're going to have to solve an achalla that i would hope more people like you tackle and start approaching these issues with this sort of ten thousand year mindset a big one of with the ocean is over fishing yeah for sure yeah i mean one thing see right now i have color of excitement in so start ups in the area of of artificial me to write yeah my notes artificial fish fish me right because there seems to be this natural even
lucian from wild hunting to farming to sort of this more lab grown stuff that doesn't involve killing or all these resources being wasted an on land where kind of in stage two now going to stage three prodding next few decades and but if you look at fishing it still just hunting right so it's still just marked most most fish is some farm raised but it's also fun to be not as valuable or is healthy yeah and i think they also use a lot of wild caught fish as a feedstock for these farmed fish the kind of art but yeah but that seems to be service nature of lucien so i think that would be a way to to kind of soft at and but isn't there a potential i mean if we're looking at this in terms of long term of what we've done with plastic and the downside there's
potential downsides to even this lab grown stuff like we don't know really the help senses of consuming it yet we don't know what the side effects are we don't know what sort of byproducts are created and manufacturing this dove yeah plus then we need to think look carefully at this but i think and decent paper does have a lot of potential of being able to do more with less yeah i'm gonna wait for awhile i just i don't know i just seems to me like boy this could be one of those early adopter things that could be a yeah disaster yeah yeah thing there i'm sure they do too i mean i'm sure i'm just ignorant but i'm still paranoid i would just go
what are you doing what's going on how to make that may that allow okay good luck eaten it i'll be over here i mean it's funny i i thanks sort of if something's just take a lot of time to get used to another thing serve once it's it's there you can if you sit in in the second example like earlier this week striving protest loan on auto pilot and i am as training for five minutes and then already you're kind of doing your emails and and then when you take it off it just feels like you're you're back in the stone ages when you're just after the calf to drive this year so oh it's so weird so so you do your email while you're driving you're not even paying attention to the machine to make sure that doesn't hit some homeless lady who stepped out off the median
like i said if it did happen yeah with the over all right now yeah i mean it's i think this things like this will come up more rapidly than people think and i think i think season very very quickly we used to it but aren't you supposed to like look at the road right not supposed to be staring down at your laptop yeah just erase everything i said for the first minute or so have you ever seen the video of the guy is falling asleep in san francisco traffic now he's completely asleep he's bej will the like and tesla cars like slowing and going with the pace of traffic it's really fast anything because this happened so quickly i for a buddy of mine got a tesla a couple years ago and he's like dude i let my hands off the wheel on the highway i'm like really that's happening already but it's not just happening like people plug into their navigate here this guy look at them this guy is phone dead asleep in
tesla in bumper to bumper served as co traffic in the car is performing flawlessly and this is the this dutch guy oxidative went to the back of his neck on the backseat and started change his clothes and oh god yeah and then pretty that they now include the safety feature that you kind of have to touch the wheel three minutes or so so that's a new thing yeah yeah and bmw i believe has a similar system but you have to have your hand on the wheel at all times yeah the architecture until it's from yeah it's yeah the automatic yeah people probably do not kinda freaky now cars while this thing is on auto pilot it's really not right now yeah yeah it's quite amazing how i mean there's you do you're just about show video tesla auto pilot crack compilations saving people from crashes oh oh i'm sure it does what's unbelievable is how few crashes there are and they said they've been two fatalities so far ok how any fatalities per capita versus
non auto pilot cars yeah i mean i would imagine it's far less yeah okay these cars are also just safer in general so they're not there's much safer than that in a a nineteen nineties to curlers having sex in terms of the way the construction yeah just safer when they crash though right i don't know how they compare the cistus statistics but yeah i'm i'm very impressed too it was fun try get out yeah i'm impressed and i'm very hopeful the only my only concern i had my friend matt farah was on last week and he's a car expert and they've actually started an organization to save human driving there the literally going to be like lobbyists to to yeah i mean op doesn't get banned right yeah well that's the with the concern is that one day they're gonna say you cannot drive your own car and they're really worried that the what was the name of his organization do you remember okay sir but the the
you know they're very serious he's like it's going to happen quicker than you think you're going it's going to be very difficult to drive your own car and then it's going to be illegal yeah maybe they should keep areas like the highway one or thing it's just something some freaky road or people can get crazy and look at me man i'm steering get my own breaks woo yeah i mean again these are things that it's most likely inevitable i mean technology the way it's progressing it's going to be safer it's going to be healthier lower emissions all these variables are going to come into play where people are going to say no this just the benefit driving your own car is not worth a detriment to society yeah an next to that just think about the normal rates of converting the entire car fleets to electric it would be around twenty years because that's sort of how long cars last
you only produce a few hundred million cars a year in this billions of cars so if you don't want that to take twenty years well i think a ton of me than really has to come into play because if you have a ton of scars you need much less cars out there and then you would see if they would you would have to drive themselves because of the cars are just driving maybe three percent of their time that i'm there you're just being parked so they can drive themselves i the utilization of the number of cars would be and the things that all transition to electric cars would happen much the human driving association driving association is what is here pull it pull it back up again so you can look at it the war on driving is here paranoid
little paranoid but you gotta remember matt farah is an automotive journalist so his livelihood depends on talking about cars and he's a real legitimate car what is this wrong answer that pick the electric car oh you clicked it says wrong answer if you go there takes you to the shop floor why is this position stitch i get it that's just a joke what would be the wrong answer just an an answer do you drive i do you do drive an electric car regular car actually i don't have a car you don't now how long do you don't really need cars you just have a bike but it's fucking freezing there yeah
israeli cannot in general i've yeah while okay hard core listen i'm a big fan of holland because kick box so how are you guys have some of the greatest kick boxers of all time there came from this one small place it's very unusual now why is that i have no idea yeah we just have to punch people i guess when they cut you off with the car but holland is a very unique places in it i mean it's a it's a very unusual country i mean yeah so this is going to a why do you think this and there's camp is basin hollander of catapult and and trusted makes a lot of so that we live below sea level so we're like we have pre pre capita than the highest number of hydraulic engineers and maritime here's the thomas into its it is very good access to human capital and yeah so this so
pretty makes sense for us to be there is a lot of sure engineering companies that that supporters and are involved with us contractors so so for us it's not pretty very strange but i don't know but the other things there is skyline of innovation coming from such a small country yeah lot of innovation an really unique intelligent people i've met a lot of people from holland and it just really fascinating the wim hof dino wim yeah i've never met him but guys best so lovely is such an amazing person every time you around him you like feel better like somebody like doing some coffee cool i know he's just he's very contagious and i mean i have i have quite a few friends from holland you could check to watch gonna take off soon not so for you okay it's just i am fascinated how how variable people are and how these cultures like holland sort of arise an id
just find so many people from holland to be i'm waiting to meet assholes from holland i'm sure you must have them but they do exist sure they do confirm that with the people that i've met from hall and are friendly and happy it's it's a very unusual place yeah sure yeah i i mean i i kind of feel the same way about the us west coast as well it's just yeah i i mean i've i've done to be able to live in a place like san francisco maybe just because of the yeah the high a prison the high percentage of engineers and entrepreneurs that i can if make me feel at home but yeah now but and i mean us in general i feel like yeah the people are very friendly i could tell you some some spots that suck okay there's a few spots it sucks but yeah you're in a good spot right here and san francisco is a fantastic spot in terms of innovation how well has been received in in
american in particularly in california i mean obviously you're here to do some business and talk to some people something that people are very excited about and you feel like there's a lot of momentum behind it the us is the the number one group of supporters for us 'cause we know we fucked up a lot with ocean and it's right but just i think people are very very supportive but maybe it's also because the the geography of the patch it's right between two us states you know it's like canada but different so yeah so it's we receive a lot of support from the us i think the biggest support group is here and everyone to talk they they they really want to get vote so yeah i think the
yes i guess so you've raised all this money is this going to be a profitable business actually were so a non for profit entity so so we're not even allowed to make profit but eventually the idea is that this sort of this plastic business would be sort of a separate thing and that boots then create the funding for the cleanup so everything would be reinvested in the cleaning oh that's fantastic so do you have aim for the plastic business i don't know right now is just under the issue came up so will will actually thinking about some kind of brand name but seen sure yeah please let me know i mean will promote the hell out of that i think that's a fantastic idea and i'll try to buy so many things at a ocean plastic as they can sell dale i think yeah i mean thing the more things you can buy maybe plastic cell get this guy in on it falling where anybody that makes these is this guy carves all these
himself and then makes these molds and then hand paints all of these well little wizard i don't know he's little he's a wizard maybe the big was this is actual size me i'm a little taller than earth but my head's not that big either but yeah these things are have a line made of completely at ocean plastic be amazing neighborhood do a bland version that be creepy i would gladly pay to a creepy looking me over there yeah fisher notes were face to but yeah i mean there's there's really the sky's the limit in terms of applications so if your plastic and again i think thing could be so attractive to people especially out here california at least posing you know as being environmentally conscious there's a lot of environmentally conscious posers out here for sure i mean that would like to
be able to say that you know like oh my dogs leashes may not have environmentally conscious plastic that we put in the ocean i was actually a part of the expedition now there was a good idea yeah i mean really it's just i just think the guys the limit in terms of just the attractiveness of that kind of plastic yeah on one hand it's a problem that everything is made out of plastic but it does give huge potential for alternative materials like like this ocean plus yeah what do you feel you're going to be doing when this is done like say if you get to this point where most of the stuff is pulled out of the ocean and what do you what do you plan for the future you're twenty three years old i mean you could really basically do anything you want sure maybe go on a holiday for once and yeah and then pretty just be working on the next one i think i think this is what i love doing and yeah i hope i'll get the opportune
need to work on many more problems like this in the future so you feel like you will be a problem solver like that's your thing that be i should put that on my this car problem solver yeah why not i mean that's until you are right i yeah i have a at the thing is just nothing more fun than sort of solving the problem is and you know when you think about project like the ocean clapped yours sure you're selling are your the southern part of a massive problem but just the whole road to it is just more like one little problem after another little problem and yeah i just you know that i think it's just very of intellectual intellectually satisfying to be sort of yeah confronted with this new weird problem and then you can have to sort of think how to solve them and as as the ceo you're sort of the the accumulation zone the garbage patch as it were for
abbas within your own organizations everything than other people cannot self serve and up with with you thank yeah kenneth i can't like that it's the it's this fund thinking about things so in for example just this week we had to like i think it was the first and last week on monday lewis so we have this assembly yards and there was a fence that was seven meters too far to the left and it was just this this email from the from the government saying if you don't move it within ten days to stop your operation i go shit but yeah i mean little problem and you just have to do a few calls and think about how can we now arrange the assembly yard in a way that still big enough so we can assemble this two thousand feet thing and then the next day turned out there was a sort of a slight misalignment of one of the connection strips on one of the the flotation elements of the system and you can have to figure out how can we
still attach it while sort of working with this and you know this sort of just details but there are details on a daily basis and that kind of what makes it fun for me if it would all go fall slade would at yeah be pretty boring well that's what's fascinating about a guy like you is that your personality perfectly aligns with this kind of problem i mean and that's a very unusual thing did you do puzzle solver when you're a kid were you into like mysteries like what is hi never there's is billing this section so one of the things that i did it funny anecdote is when was i think it was about thirty ten years old i had this idea of doing getting into the guinness book of records with launching model rockets so is really into those kind of things and build them myself and shoot up like three in hundred feet in the sky and uh but then there was sort of organize this whole thing with
those media we had sponsors and we at the university vibrating and we just have to sports field with three hundred people who all at the same time they would all large their rocket and actually i think we launch like two hundred and thirteen of them at the same time and actually gone the guinness book of records i always have my projects let's put it that way have you thought about potentially working with companies that produce environmental waste like maybe a company brings you on as a problem all over for some sort of an issue that they have a residual issue of something they produce yeah i had a i don't think would be very interesting to be a consultant or anything but yeah i mean definitely serve after this i want to do sort of solve more work on more big
challenges like the alec oil spills things along those lines yeah i mean you can keep guessing minimum yeah ok it should be you'll see i'm sure we will see well listen so happy that you exist i'm so there's someone out there that's actually doing something about this and i've seen like i said i've seen many of your talks i think it's a comprehensive approach i think it's amazing and i really hope that something comes out of this and it really works thanks so much thank you my pleasure and thanks for doing this and tell people one more time how they can get to your website yeah so it's the ocean clean up dot com are also social media just at the ocean cleanup to follow us as we launched for system this summer and your social media accounts are planned slats and s l a t yes b o y n s o a t that's twitter instagram every all the above yes thank you points for a lot of fun really appreciate it thank you far that's it for the show thank
you very much for tuning in uh thank you to boy and an amazing guy door sponsors thank you too on it go to onn it use the code word rogan and save ten percent off any and all supplements thank you also square space go to squarespace dot com slash joe for a free trial and when you're ready to launch use the offer so joe to save ten percent off your first purchase of a website or domain and thank you also to the cash app are wonderful way for you to send and receive money with friends and family and now you can even buy and sell bitcoin instantly with the cash app go to the app store or google play download the cash app for free code joe rogan one word you will get five dollars and five dollars will go to our friend justin wren
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Transcript generated on 2019-10-05.