In January 2010, the 5 Gyres team crossed the North Atlantic Gyre - also called the Sargasso Sea, aboard our partner Pangaea Exploration's 72-foot, steel hulled Sea Dragon. We sailed through mats of Sargassum filled with plastic trash, and found plastic particles in every one of our surface samples. On the Islands – Bermuda and the Azores – we found beaches awash in plastic trash. With few resources to deal with waste recovery and disposal, islands are in great need of innovative solutions.
Shortly after, we were invited to cross the Indian Ocean Gyre, from Perth Australia to Mauritius, off the coast of Madagascar. Again, not a single one of our samples were free of plastic – shredded plastic packaging, bottle caps, ice cream containers, and plastic pellets served to remind us of where this problem begins – in our own backyards.
We’re now planning 8 expeditions to the South Atlantic and Pacific Gyres, completing our global survey. We invite scientists, journalists, filmmakers, and interested citizens on board, to experience this issue directly, and serve as global ambassadors when they return. Our goal is to bring plastic marine pollution to an International audience, and encourage companies, governments, and citizens to get involved in realistic solutions. We applaud Electrolux for helping to raise awareness, and look forward to supporting one another’s efforts. For more information, visit 5gyres.org.