Project Kaisei Make First Attempt to Clean Pacific Garbage Patch

The Mission
Project Kaisei consists of a team of innovators, ocean lovers, sailors, scientists, sports enthusiasts and environmentalists who have come together with a common purpose. To study how to capture plastic waste in the ocean and how to capture, detoxify and recycle it into diesel fuel. This first research Mission, scheduled for the summer of 2009, will be critical to understanding the logistics that will be needed to make a successful clean-up operation possible as some of the technology required for such a feat has never been utilized under oceanic conditions.
Project Kaisei will examine the largest area of the Plastic Vortex, an ocean vortex, situated to the North East of Hawaii, and approximately four days by boat from the State or from San Francisco. The Mission will consist of two “swaths” through the Plastic Vortex, with the aim to remove approximately 40 tons of plastic from the ocean for experimental recycling.The Plastic Vortex, or what is sometimes referred to as the “Eighth Continent”, is an area of the Pacific Ocean containing an estimated 4,000,000 tons of floating plastic waste in a mass that is twice the size of Texas, over 1,000 times bigger than Hong Kong, or nearly four times as large as Japan.

Why is the Plastic Vortex a problem?

Plastic waste in the oceans is:

* Killing marine life
* Entering our food chain
* Growing daily
* Having a negative effect on people’s health

Every piece of plastic ever made still exists as its molecular structure resists biodegradation. About 80% of the plastic waste in the ocean comes from land-based dumping and once in the sea, it is at the mercy of the confluence of tides, currents and winds because it floats. Over time, the plastics disintegrate into ever smaller pieces due to weather and UV impact. As the plastic fragments into smaller particles, it resembles food to other marine life, making it part of the zooplankton mass.

This in turn becomes food to small fish at the bottom of the food chain. Once in the food chain, larger fish are then affected, and the toxic plastic material finds its way to our food source as the fishing industry unknowingly brings this to shore. Birds and marine animals also fall victim to plastics as they mistakenly perceive them to be food. Initial research has shown that for every single planktonic animal there are six particles of plastic. It is unknown how much sea life is lost due to plastic ingestion, but estimates are in the hundreds of thousands.Read More…The man in the video is Charles Moore he is credited with discovering the garbage patch ten years ago.


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