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Catching Up with The Ocean Cleanup

Technology Podcasts

Catching Up is a podcast by The Ocean Cleanup, giving you updates and insights from the team behind the non-profit organization. The Ocean Cleanup is designing and developing cleanup systems to clean up what is already polluting our oceans and to intercept plastic on its way to the ocean via rivers. Their end goal is to remove 90% of floating ocean plastic by 2040.




Catching Up is a podcast by The Ocean Cleanup, giving you updates and insights from the team behind the non-profit organization. The Ocean Cleanup is designing and developing cleanup systems to clean up what is already polluting our oceans and to intercept plastic on its way to the ocean via rivers. Their end goal is to remove 90% of floating ocean plastic by 2040.




Building Bridges | Planet-sized Problems

Plastic pollution afflicts the whole world, and solving it requires countries, governments and other organizations to work together. To rid the oceans of plastic, we need action at every level: upstream change alongside our downstream cleanup, for a full life-cycle solution. But how do you get nearly 200 countries to agree on a plan? João Ribeiro-Bidaoui, General Counsel and Director of Global Public Affairs, speaks to Catching Up to explain how The Ocean Cleanup isn’t just cleaning...


Looking Ahead | Maps, models and monitoring

Ridding the oceans of plastic doesn’t start on the sea - it starts in the lab. Head of Research Laurent Lebreton calls in from New Zealand to tell us how research and data-driven science form the foundation for everything The Ocean Cleanup does - and how better data make us better cleaners. Through academic conferences to long-term ocean research voyages, Laurent speaks of his pride at his team’s pioneering work gathering data on plastic pollution, and guides us through the story of how a...


2022 Wrapped | Another wild year

Trying to tie up an entire year at The Ocean Cleanup is an impossible thing, especially in a year with so many monumental projects happening at the same time. Listen as the Executive Producer of Documentary Content, and host of Catching Up, Dan van der Kooy, looks back at some of the conversations he had throughout 2022 with team members from all around the planet.


Keeping Promises | What’s in a name?

With a few Florida manatees for company, The Ocean Cleanup’s Head of Communications Joost Dubois gives us the story behind telling the story. Joost tells us what drives him to keep growing the story of the largest cleanup in history, explains how The Ocean Cleanup’s name stands as a mark of our integrity and transparency, and rolls back the years to share the highlights of his journey so far as our self-styled ‘Chief Promises Officer’.


Operational Pressure | What It Really Takes to Deploy an Interceptor

From alongside Interceptor 007, Operations Manager Alex Mills talks about some of the highs and lows that he has been a part of during his career at The Ocean Cleanup, along with what goes on behind the scenes during the assembly, operations, and maintaining an Interceptor in various locations around the world. He also "skates" into some of his favorite hobbies and what the last month has been like for him throughout the exhausting experience of setting up Interceptor 007 in Los Angeles...


Little Sparks | Finish What We Started

Exciting times for our Oceans program: record catch figures, improved efficiency, and in transition to System 03 - the perfect time to catch up with our new Director Oceans a.i., Joël Jansen, so he can tell us how it’s all going. Joël discusses our scale-up and the measures taken in our constant effort to reduce our environmental footprint. He also speaks about cynical social media reactions, how his journey to The Ocean Cleanup began many years ago with a Panini sticker album, and how he is...


Big Challenges | Make it or Break it

Every non-profit stands or falls on its finances. Luckily, The Ocean Cleanup’s new Chief Financial Officer, Stacey Santoso, brings a wealth of experience, first from the corporate world and later from her time as Head of Global Finance at Greenpeace. Stacey describes the passions driving her financial career and the importance of local empathy when operating globally. Stacey also shares fascinating personal insights into how she perceives cleanup operations in the country of her birth,...


Dream Job | The How and the Why

From Bangkok’s Chao Phraya river, River Surveyor Engineer David Higgins explains how he identifies which rivers can most benefit from our intervention. David shares the emotions he has experienced in his ‘dream job’ with The Ocean Cleanup, reveals how a new river operation takes shape, and shares his personal journey from surfing on the shores of southwest Ireland to intercepting plastic in the world’s most polluting rivers.


So Close | Boyan back in Guatemala

Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, describes his contrasting emotions following the first trial of the Interceptor Trashfence in Guatemala. Boyan shares how he takes learnings from disappointments, updates us on The Ocean Cleanup’s progress in the Pacific Ocean over the last year, and reveals how operations to rid our oceans of plastic are ready to be scaled up across the globe.


Visual Impact | Documenting our mission

Direct from the Guatemalan jungle, we catch up with our Head of Creative and Documentary Productions, Florent Beauverd, and ask him why documenting the largest cleanup in history is so important to the future of our planet. Florent also speaks about his background in extreme sports and how he has evolved in building trust through technology and creative multimedia production.


Pitching, Catching | Putting together the Asian jigsaw puzzle

Director Asia, Steven Paalman, talks about the experience of traveling with Boyan Slat and Team Asia to assist in progressing various river projects and meet key partners in the region. He also shares his views on the importance of maintaining these relationships in a mix of cultures for the future of intercepting trash from some of the most important polluting rivers in Asia.


Project Management | Adapting and Improving for the Future

Alice Collins is the Project Manager for our upcoming Interceptor 007 deployment in Los Angeles County. After a recent globe-straddling trip to visit Interceptor projects in Malaysia and the US, Alice finds a moment to sit down and talk us through what makes this very visible deployment so different.


Both Sides | The Importance of Partners

Ocean Operations Manager Glen Kissack talks about how he juggles the relationship between Maersk Supply Service and The Ocean Cleanup – both in the office as well as offshore. He also looks back at his offshore career and reflects on his time with ‘Jenny.’


Talking Trash | Making Waste Fun

River Field Scientist Thomas Mani and Recycling Manager John Verhoeven answer the tough questions about trash – from how it ends up in a body of water, how we are using a new app to track it, and how we can use waste as a resource in the future. They also share some of their personal experiences and how important it is for them to see the problem first-hand.


2021 Reflections | Celebrating Success and adapting culture

Managing Director, Jacob Fonteijne and Director of the Ocean Team, Henk van Dalen look back at another crazy and historic year at The Ocean Cleanup and what it was like to experience it from their perspectives. They also talk about the culture at The Ocean Cleanup and how that relates to keeping the momentum going even through the pandemic.


About #TeamSeas | Reaching new demographics

Senior Partnership Manager Fleur Elverding and Social Media Manager Viktorija Gaizutyte talk about how the #TeamSeas campaign and working with Mr. Beast and Mark Rober has opened the door for an entirely new generation of supporters. We also look back at how “the new normal” has affected social media and partnerships at The Ocean Cleanup and what new and exciting things are coming in 2022.


What Now? | What we’ll do with 28,659 kg of plastic

Talking all things plastic processing, Catch Management Director, Stella van den Berg, walks us through how we will process the plastic we collected during the testing of System 002 in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Processing ocean plastic isn't an easy task, but the knowledge we gain in re-purposing this plastic will be crucial not only for The Ocean Cleanup, but for the planet.


Emotional Impressions | Perseverance pays off

Eight weeks into the System 002 mission and three years since first deploying our technology in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch we are catching plastic. The Ocean Cleanup's Reijnder de Feijter, has been here through it all. In this episode, he takes over Catching Up and discusses initial environmental findings with the onboard Protected Species Observer Sebastian Orue. They reflect on what it's like to see so much waste removed from the ocean and how this impacts their own lives.


Pioneering Offshore | Build, break, learn, repeat

In The Ocean Cleanup’s first podcast recorded from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, two senior project engineers on board the Maersk Trader, Fedde Poppenk and Fraser Keil, give us a glimpse into the initial days, challenges, and successes of the System 002, aka Jenny, mission. When offshore, you fail fast and learn fast, but the insights from this trip set the stage for the future of the campaign and the cleanup itself.


What’s New? | The technology has shifted with ocean System 002

This week the team will embark on the next mission into Great Pacific Garbage Patch with System 002. Its nickname is inspired by (another) character from a Tom Hanks movie and the design features several substantial updates. Prior to “lift off” we sat down with Head of Technology, Arjen Tjallema and Senior Project Engineer, Reijnder de Feijter to discuss the preparations behind this new system and our expectations for it as we return to this infamous gyre in the Pacific Ocean.