Today the environmentally concerned geek in me would like you, my not so green friends, introduce you to one of the most awe-inspiring and seriously freaky things that I have been for a long time. Have you ever wondered were all the plastic ends that is not incinerated or recycled (and that’s only a fraction of worldwide plastic) when you’ve just bought your fourth bottle of designer water?
Say hi to the ‘plastic vortex,’ a patch in the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone, approximately as big as Alaska that consists of broken up plastic, believed to be just one of many of these. That’s right, that water bottle that you threw away when you were at that sea side resort di not just ‘dissolve’ but likely made it to this enormous trash patch which is killing sea life in the millions and is quite likely at this moment terminating the life of a cute little tortoise like the one on the left.
We know very little about this monstrous garbage patch. Neither its size, consistency, micro fauna or flora. But now 2 vessels have started a journey to map, sample and study this monstrous entitity and come up with solutions how to get rid of it. Project Kaisei, co-sponsored by some wealthy Califonian geeks, thinktanks, plastic lobbyists (with a conscience and an eye for good pr) and run with the Scripps Oceanographic institute for that extra bit of credibility, this is a well funded and well staffed project that will give us some more infomation about this manmade blight of the Pacific and maybe even come up with an idea how to get rid of it. The two ships have different blogs: for the Scripps run vessel check out this link, while the more showy tall boat Kaisei can be checked out here. Well worth a read and ultra contemporary.