Posts Tagged ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’

Weekly Compactor

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A long overdue roundup of trash in the news:

  • The search for the missing Malaysian plane brought to light many crazy facts. It also drew attention to the crazy amounts of trash floating in the world’s oceans.
  • Donald Robertson artwork brings new cache to trash, which he sells to wealthy New Yorkers.
  • Co.Exist featured some clever hacks around New York City that upcycle discarded items into useful objects for everyone.
  • I want one of these chairs.

Chris Jordan’s Midway Journey

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Early into my trash blogging career, people started to send me links to photographer Chris Jordan‘s work, which over the years I have turned over into several posts. This latest link (thanks, Chelsea!) is a talk by the artist himself, describing how he strives to help the viewer visualize incomprehensibly large numbers, and to “make global issues personal.” Check out what he has to say about his work and what a replica of Van Gogh’s Starry Night made of 50,000+ discarded cigarette lighters has to do with the Pacific Gyre. It’s a frightening tale of the consequences of plastic. As Jordan puts it, “This is the Earth’s alarm system going off…”


Rant of the month

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Apparently, someone came up with the idea to turn the Great Pacific Garbage Patch into an “eco island“. Blogger Anders Sandberg has a fabulous and well-informed rant on why that is a rather stupid idea. Recommended reading.

Discover discovers the garbage patch

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Check out this in-depth piece chock full of links about the Great Garbage Patch. Not sure I agree that it’s a “new” discovery among enviros, but glad to see the coverage nonetheless.

The Garbage Girl

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Did you catch the NYT piece on the garbage patch last week and/or check out the accompanying slide show? The author of that article is Lindsey Hoshaw, a freelance journalist who spent three weeks this summer aboard the Oceanographic Research Vessel Alguita on an expidition led by Captain Charles Moore to explore that great swatch of plastic in the sea. Check Hoshaw’s blog and puruse the archive for a first-hand account.

Notice the link to at the bottom of the NYT article. It’s a tool for freelancers to raise funds for  their reporting, supporters of which helped to finance Hoshaw’s research. How thoroughly modern.

Side note: in Googling links for this post, I came accross another Garbage Girl, a woman working at a landfill and blogging about it. Stay tuned for more on women and trash.

Midway: Message From the Gyre

Friday, October 23, 2009

Trash photographer Chris Jordan whose work documenting American mass consumption we’ve posted on before, has a troubling new series called “Midway,” in which he shows what happens when albatross chicks eat too much plastic.

Thanks to all the tipsters who sent me this link!

Mother Jones interview with Project Kaisei

Friday, September 25, 2009

Project Kaisei, a recent expedition to further test the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is complete. Mother Jones has the story. Thanks, Alexandra, tipster of the month!

Trashy TED Talk

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Captain Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Center—and discoverer of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—shares what he has seen on expeditions to that Texas-sized mass of swirling  plastic debris. Great content, a bit lackluster in the presentation.

Capturing the plastic vortex

Friday, August 7, 2009

A few days ago, a “team of innovators, scientists, environmentalists, ocean lovers, sailors, and sports enthusiasts” set sail for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to take a closer look at the gyre in the hopes of evenutally figuring 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 Rothschild‘s Plastiki).

Photo by Robert Sanford via Flickr

Photo by Robert Sanford via Flickr

As you’ll recall, one of the cool things about this project is that they will be looking at the beast from all angles, especially below. The fleet includes two vessels, the Kaisei and the New Horizon. And you can track their progress day by day, as each ship has its own blog. Check them here and here. More to come as the crew reaches their destination.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about this guy David de Rothschild and his forthcoming voyage to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch on his forthcoming plastic bottle vessel, the Plastiki.

David de Rothschild

David de Rothschild

The boat and journey are loosely modeled on the adventures of Thor Heyderdahl, that salty Norweigian who sailed great oceanic distances on a flimsy-looking balsawood raft in the style of a Peruvian pae-pae.

Press coverage of this venture has been a joy to read. De Rothschild, in case you didn’t know, is an heir. In addition to personal wealth, he also has a posh British accent, rugged facial hair and his own eco TV show on the Sundance Channel.

According to Treehugger: “De Rothschild is a fascinating eco-warrior. He is gorgeous, rich and extremely eligible. ”

GOOD published this illuminating Q&A along with a sexy photo of de Rothschild sprawled in a bed of plastic. The New York Times did a thing. Even The New Yorker ran a profile.

But my favorite piece so far and by far—judged on both tone and informational content—is this SF Weekly blog post. Yay snark. Enjoy.

Oh, and not surprisingly, this guy has a sizable YouTube pressence.

Plastic Vortex

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

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.

Marine Trash

Thursday, March 12, 2009

ira-glass1Recently, I’ve become addicted to  back episodes of  This American Life. It’s a cliche of my demographic, I know, but I heart Ira Glass. This morning, while rooting through the onlne archives, I found this show, which includes an opening segment on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. In it, Ira talks to an environmental sea captain with his own Web site on the topic of trashed bodies of water and efforts to restore them.

The Independent

Friday, February 27, 2009

…has a very troublesome map over the plastic soup melange in the Pacific. Note that there are 100 million tonnes of trash floating around, dubbed “Eastern Garbage Patch” and “Western Garbage Patch”.

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