Moe Beitiks

The 5 Gyres Project Searches the Oceans for New Garbage Patches

by , 02/12/10
filed under: Water Issues

sustainable design, green design, 5 gyres project, waste reduction, great pacific garbage patch, environmental responsibility, plastic ocean island

You may be familiar with the dreaded Great Pacific Garbage Patch — a massive soup of plastic debris, flotsam and junk floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Scientists say that ocean currents determine the precise gathering of the junk: the patch lies in the middle of a giant ocean gyre, or vortex in the sea. There are five major gyres in the world’s oceans, and one group, 5 Gyres, is determined to search the remaining 4 for evidence of similar plastic island gatherings.

sustainable design, green design, 5 gyres project, waste reduction, great pacific garbage patch, environmental responsibility, plastic ocean island

Plastic floating in the ocean presents numerous hazards – not only is it unsightly and marine animals mistake it for food, but the material itself absorbs waterborne toxic chemicals. Persistent organic pollutants like DDT, PCBs, and the like attach onto these fake food flakes and may reenter the food chain, as marine animals who munch on plastic get caught and eaten by humans. The bulk of the debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is not visible from above; it’s already broken down into confetti-like pieces and swims dangerously through the subsurface of the water.

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4 Comments

  1. Louis13007 January 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Hi,

    I was watching your video on YouTube about the Trash stuck in the Gyre.

    You made the statement that you don’t think that it could be cleaned up.

    I have been putting some thought into this dilemma and I say “It can be cleaned up” its just going to take a lot of hard work but it can be done.

    Let’s talk,

    Louis Howell
    4816 McMahon Blvd. NW #L-100
    Albuquerque, NM 87114
    (505) 292-9382
    Goofy13007@aol.com

  2. Egregious Packaging Hal... November 23, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    [...] bags are used in the US — any only 7 percent of them are recycled. The plastic scourge clogs waterways and takes hundreds of years to break down into smaller plastic bits (the bags don’t [...]

  3. augu8189 November 2, 2010 at 12:35 am

    I was completely shocked when I found out about these masses of plastic floating in the ocean. I believe that the lack of coverage on the subject is one of the major problems. People dont and wont care unless something is put in their faces. Is there anything I can do.

  4. ElizElyDotCom March 22, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Thanks for providing more information about the 5 Gyres Project, and some great, albeit disturbing photos I hadn’t seen before.

    I’ve written a little thing about the North Pacific Gyre at http://elizabethely.com/2010/03/22/plastic-garbage-for-the-albatross-dinner/ and have posted a slideshow video of albatross chicks who ate plastic debris. Bird after bird filled with plastic, all documented thanks to photographer Chris Jordan in September 2009 with his Midway – Message from the Gyre.

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