Family Vibes | Transforming Kingston Harbour
36:31Rae Town, Kingston, Jamaica: an iconic location and the perfect place to catch up on The Ocean Cleanup's Jamaica project. With five Interceptors deployed in gullies around the city (and more on the way) one guest wasn't enough: Dan van der Kooy speaks to Alecia Beaufort, Operations Manager for Clean Harbours Jamaica, and Dominik Haertl, Business Development Manager at The Ocean Cleanup, about how this enormous project got started and how we've responded to Kingston's unique circumstances. Alecia and Dominik speak about how local people - from fishing communities to visiting schoolchildren - are benefiting and learning from our Interceptor deployments, and how our collaboration with local government and vital partners such as the GraceKennedyFoundation and Clean Harbours Jamaica isn't just about intercepting plastic, but also about a wider project to improve quality of life for Kingston's community.
Plastic Studies | Poring Over Polymers
38:10"Science has always been my passion.” Sarah-Jeanne Royer, our resident oceanographer and research scientist on plastic degradation, has a storied background. In this episode, she takes us from her childhood in Quebec to catching a wave and peaceful island life in Hawaii… with a stop along the way to study for her degree while in a bunker in war-torn Afghanistan. Sarah tells a slightly worse-for-wear Dan van der Kooy how plastic marine debris on Hawaiian beaches is similar to trash found in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, along with the importance of staying focused (and very, very patient) when conducting research. She also ponders whether or not it’s worth spending time and energy to handle emotion-led criticism (“it makes me sad”) and tells us why we’re all “shedding plastic” when we work out.
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Boyan’s Mind | Reflections from Guatemala and beyond
46:43Alongside the newly-deployed Interceptor 006 in Guatemala, CEO and Founder of The Ocean Cleanup, Boyan Slat, reflects on the four-year campaign to intercept tsunamis of trash in this one-of-a-kind river. From perseverance to partnerships, Boyan explains the vital ingredients for a successful launch and celebrates the 1m kilograms of trash already intercepted. Boyan tells us more on a range of topics, from the importance of the negotiations for a Global Plastic Treaty to our plans for improving efficiency in our GPGP cleanup. He also speaks of his personal growth during the last year, how he handles the responsibilities that come with success, and gives his hot take on one of 1995's biggest movies.
Constant Improvement | Passing The Torch
25:25After three years in the Dominican Republic, Operations Manager Erik Holmbom is preparing to return to HQ in Rotterdam. Catching Up speaks to Erik to find out what he's learned during his posting in the Caribbean, and how Interceptor 004 has overcome initial problems to become a valuable and appreciated presence for the community in Santo Domingo. Erik describes how working at The Ocean Cleanup has rewired his brain to solve problems and how partners – ranging from the Dominican Navy to UNDP – are crucial for our operations on the ground. Erik also answers your questions and reveals a slightly unusual lifelong dream: to sail a 6.5m bathtub across the Atlantic – all alone.
The Fixer | The IT connection in the history of our technology company
33:15The technology at The Ocean Cleanup goes way beyond only what is visible in the oceans and rivers. Our IT Manager, Steven Bink, discusses his role in the history of the organization and how the excitement from another well known technology company is opening the door to an exciting future of ridding the world's oceans of plastic.
The Gatekeeper | So what do you do with my money?
48:40Ridding the oceans of plastic costs money - lots of it. As a non-profit project, every cent The Ocean Cleanup spends comes from a donor somewhere in the world. So how do our supporters know we’re spending their hard-earned cash correctly? Catching Up speaks to Joy Gao, Finance Director at The Ocean Cleanup, as she cuts through the numbers to answer the big questions: how do we spend our money? How can supporters trust that their donations - from kids’ piggy bank savings to billionaire philanthropy - are spent the right way? And just how did she end up choosing Rotterdam and The Ocean Cleanup over a possible career in K-pop? Find all of our podcasts and learn more about our mission to rid the oceans of plastic at theoceancleanup.com/podcasts.
Building Bridges | Planet-sized Problems
44:38Plastic 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 plastic, but is also building partnerships and working to influence anti-plastic pollution policies at the highest global levels - not only within the countries where we operate, but also in the critical negotiations for a potential UN Plastics Treaty.
Looking Ahead | Maps, models and monitoring
50:04Ridding 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 startup evolved into a leader in ocean plastic research.
2022 Wrapped | Another wild year
41:00Trying 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?
35:38With 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’.