Billionaire Donates Fortune to Clean Up Ocean’s Plastic Pollution

Billionaire Donates Fortune to Clean Up Ocean’s Plastic Pollution

Billions of pounds of plastic – a material that never fully goes away – is floating in our planet’s oceans today. Found in everything from soda bottles and grocery bags to food containers and straws, plastic pieces make their way into Earth’s oceans daily.

The living beings most affected by this human negligence are marine wildlife. Countless sea turtles, whales, dolphins, fish and more are killed each year after ingesting plastic.

Now, one man is trying to help.

Norwegian businessman Kjell Inge Røkke announced recently his plan to donate most of his multi-billion dollar fortune toward building the Research Expedition Vessel (REV). REV, a future mega-yacht, will be able to vacuum up 5 tons of plastic per day from the ocean and melt it down.

VES will be the worlds largest mega-yacht, according to Business Insider, and will be able to house 60 scientists and 40 crew. Additionally, the yacht will be fully equipped with the most up-to-date laboratories, an auditorium, two helipads, a hangar for a remote operated vehicle, an autonomous underwater vehicle as a multifunctional cargo deck aft of the ship, and high-tech equipment for monitoring and surveying marine areas.

Røkke, who ironically was also once a fisherman, told a Norwegian newspaper that he “wanted to give back to society the bulk of what I’ve earned and the ship is a part of that.”

Røkke noted that “the oceans are also under greater pressure than ever before from overfishing, coastal pollution, habitat destruction, climate change and ocean acidification, and one of the most pressing challenges of all, plasticization of the ocean. The need for knowledge and solutions is pressing.”

REV will not only be the largest yacht in the world once built, but will also be the world’s heaviest at 16,000GT. The yacht is expected to be completed and operational by summer, 2020.


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  1. MS

    Thank you, Kjell, a million fold — I want more individuals, like you, to contribute to the betterment of our planet — again, I am proud and relieved to know that I share this earth with noble, compassionate, rational people like you who know it’s vital to DO THE RIGHT THING — Again, I thank you.

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    • TucsonPatty

      Exactly what she said. Thank you, thank you, thank you Kjell Inge Røkke. Thank you for having the foresight to think of all the different sections needed for this ship!

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  2. Helga Marr

    Kjell Inge Røkke is a hero! He can encourage others to do this, too!

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  3. Greta Duckwall James

    Thank you for doing what the worlds gov’ts will never do cuz that would cause them to admit that plastic is ruining our planet, has caused millions of deaths as toxic manufacturing, and consumption not to mention billions of birds and marine life ( did I mention that? )
    Thank you for your kindness and sacrifice!
    Anyone else care to stand up? Ya can’t take it with you and it’s costing you millions to keep it!

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  4. freddie williams

    This yacht must be powered by sustainable means. NOT by fossil fuels!

    Reply Report comment
  5. Monica

    That’s wonderful news! Thank goodness he cares enough to help with clean up of the oceans which have needed it for years with all the plastic accumulating. Very kind and noble of you Kjell!

    Reply Report comment

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