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The essence of Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup Array would be to use the ocean to its advantage to clean up plastic ‘garbage patches.’ (boyanslat.com)
The essence of Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup Array would be to use the ocean to its advantage to clean up plastic ‘garbage patches.’ (boyanslat.com)

Small Business Briefing

Teen inventor designs device to rid oceans of plastic Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team.

Cleaning up

A 19-year-old from the Netherlands named Boyan Slat has designed a system that could potentially collect billions of tonnes of plastic from the world’s oceans, The Daily Mail writes. It would capture the waste for processing without harming fish or plankton.

The boom-like devices would move through the water using solar and wave power.

“This concept is so efficient, we estimate that by selling the plastic retrieved from the five gyres, we would make in fact more money than the plan would cost to execute,” the young aspiring entrepreneur says in the story. “In other words, it may potentially be profitable.”

The Delft University of Technology student has launched The Ocean Cleanup Foundation to raise money to make the design a reality. The project is about a quarter of the way through a feasibility study.

A lofty promise

Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter has called a provincial election for Oct. 8, and one of his rivals, Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie, says if his party is elected, the province will become a tax-free zone for small businesses, CBC reports. The current tax rate, which would be eliminated under this scenario, is 3.5 per cent. “We want to make Nova Scotia the most friendly small business province in all of Canada,” he told an audience at a restaurant in Halifax on Monday. The current government has reduced the rate four years in a row.

A clever recycler

North Carolina-based apparel maker Dirtball is attempting to raise $40,000 (U.S.) on Kickstarter to cover material and manufacturing costs of a new product it calls the Green Jean, an eco-friendly pant made with denim using recycled water bottles. “The post-consumer plastic water bottles used in making the jeans are sorted by colour, stripped of their labels and caps, washed and ground down into shavings,” a press release states. “These shavings are then melted and extruded into virgin polyester fibre.” Cotton used in the process comes from discarded pieces from other lines, which are blended with the polyester to create the end product.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Inspiration in Vancouver

Small Business BC celebrates the launch of Small Business Month with Inspire: hear the province’s top entrepreneurs share their stories, their advice and their inspirations. The event takes place in Vancouver on Sept. 30, and features a networking reception, trade show, keynote addresss and panel.

What you need to launch

How to start a business in Manitoba’ takes place Sept. 17 in Winnipeg from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The seminar includes forms of business organization, legal considerations, name registration, taxation, licensing requirements, home based business, and financing options.

EDITOR’S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Independence is good

When employees understand why a business benefits from tasks being done a certain way, two things happen: First, they go from thinking the task is menial to understanding its impact on a much larger scale; second, when they understand the reasons, they start to think more independently.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

For the road warriors

Bruce Poon Tip may not have seen Up in the Air, but he lives it. The CEO of G Adventures Travel figures he’s flown more than 1 million miles since he founded his Toronto-based company in 1990. With more than 850 employees worldwide and numerous speaking engagements on his calendar, Mr. Poon Tip is a true road warrior, and he had some sanity-saving travel tips to share.

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