Plastic Vortex

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A group of scientists wants to get to the bottom of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The AFP reports that the great swirling mass of plastic and other trash between Hawaii and mainland US will be the destination of a 50-day expedition  from San Francisco to the Eastern Garbage Patch and back.

Underwater trash photo via RedOrbit

Underwater trash photo via RedOrbit

The scientists will take special nets with them designed to scoop up samples of even the tiniest plastic debris and will treat their voyage to the vortex  of plastic beneath the sea like a journey into space.

According to RedOrbit:

The United Nations Environment Program has estimated that some 13,000 pieces of garbage exist in every square kilometer of the ocean, but the issue becomes magnified in these ocean vortexes.

Leaders of the trip said the particles have composed a toxic gumbo that threatens the wellbeing of fish in the region.

“That means the little piece of plastic the fish eats is actually a little toxic bomb,” said Doug Woodring, an entrepreneur and conservationist who lives in Hong Kong and will lead the expedition.

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6 Responses to “Plastic Vortex”

  1. Renee Says:

    As much as water adds beauty to the most undeserving of materials (and to the occasional organism), this is bad, bad news. But look at what the design community has to add: http://boxedwaterisbetter.com

  2. Leila Darabi Says:

    Interesting. Though if people are willing to go out of their way to buy boxed water, you’d think they’d go the extra mile and carry a reusable water bottle. That said, this looks like a good solution for places where you can’t drink the water. Thanks, Renee.

  3. Doug Woodring Says:

    Great article. The challenge to all of us is to create value for the 95% of plastics (over 260m tons yearly) that are produced. Once there is value for something with a “second life”, there will be incentive for people to collect it, and that means it won’t end up in our oceans. Stay tuned for more on Project Kaisei.

    Thanks
    Doug

  4. Leila Darabi Says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Doug! I look forward to updates on your group’s progress.

    Leila

  5. Capturing the plastic vortex « everydaytrash Says:

    […] out a way to clean that shit up. The expedition is called Project Kasisei. You may remember an earlier mention of this ambitious plan featuring the co-founder, entrepeneur Doug Woodring (not to be confused with David de […]

  6. My learning this week Says:

    […] came back to school I learned about the plastic vortex, a huge patch of rubbish in the middle of the pacific ocean carried there by big currents in the […]

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