Cleaning the Plastic out of the Pacific

August 31, 2009

plastic bottle from the pacific

I wrote about thePacific Garbage Dump in an earlierblog post this year. If you're not familiar with the Pacific Garbage Dump/North Pacific Gyre, it's a floating mass of trash (mainly plastics) floating in an area between the US and Hawaii. The size is said to be larger than the state of Texas. Out of site, out of mind right?! Not really. As this plastic breaks down over time, tiny particles become food for many marine creatures. If you follow the food chain, it's ending up in the fish that we eat. The BIG problem is how to clean up this mess that we created. It would put any country into debt taking on the cleanup. Using nets to grab the larger pieces would kill countless species of marine life and require a lot of carbon emitting fuel in the process.

Project Kaisei vessel 


A group called Project Kaisei has teamed up to address the problem. "Project Kaisei consists of a team of innovators, scientists, environmentalists, ocean lovers, sailors, and sports enthusiasts who have come together with a common purpose. To study the North Pacific Gyre and the marine debris that has collected in this oceanic region, to determine how to capture the debris and to study the possible retrieval and processing techniques that could be potentially employed to detoxify and recycle these materials into diesel fuel." We can only help that Project Kaisei can come up with a clean up solution to this mess that we created, while addressing the growing concern for our society's need for plastic.

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