Water without plastic — a choice we can make

Photo by tanvi sharma on Unsplash

Plastic bottles are insidiously convenient. They’re easy to pack, relatively lightweight and inexpensive.

Every year, over 481 billion plastic bottles are purchased across the globe. In the US., we buy one million of them every day. Yet 91 percent of the world’s water bottles don’t get recycled, ending up in landfills, oceans or waterways.

The effects of this scourge are grim. Scientists recently reported finding microplastics in human blood and lung tissue. And marine and wildlife die from ingesting plastic, mistaking it for food.

69 billion single-use plastic water bottles are consumed annually in the US, But there’s an innovative alternative that’s convenient, lightweight and recyclable. To find out more click here.

National Park Service rescinds ban on plastic water bottles – a bad and dangerous policy for wildlife

Plastic pollution – such as shown here in the Grand Canyon prior to the plastic water ban – will likely now become a common scene again.

In what is clearly bowing to pressure from both our infamous, uh, illustrious national leader and lobbying (as with beaucoup dollars thrown at them or the federal agency that oversees it) by plastic bottle manufacturers, the National Park Service has announced it’s lifting the 6-year ban on the sale of plastic water bottles within national parks.

Continue reading

5 Gyres works to help stop plastic pollution of microbeads

plastic microbeads

The issue of plastic in our oceans is huge – and growing! Even with encouraging news regarding Dutch engineering student Boyan Slat’s plan to clean up half the Pacific Garbage Patch in just 10 years, the issue of microbeads remains.

Plastic microbeads are in beauty products like toothpaste and facial scrubs in humongous amounts. One tube of exfoliating scrub can contain over 350,000 plastic microbeads! It’s estimated that 471 million microbeads are released into the San Francisco Bay every day.

Continue reading

The “Race for Water Odyssey” to assess global ocean plastic pollution

Race for Water Odyssey graphic

It’s estimated that over 260 billion tons of plastic are currently polluting our oceans, accumulating within whirling pools of water or gyres. Of these five gyres, only one – the Great North Pacific Gyre (also known as the North Pacific Garbage Patch) – is being actively studied.

Scheduled to launch from Bordeaux, France, the Race for Water Odyssey (R4WO) aspires to reach the 5 gyres to study the accumulating waste in these remote areas. While studies on certain vortexes have already been conducted, this expedition will, for the first time  collect and analyze systematic and comparable data on all 5 of the planet’s gyres.. Continue reading

A bridge made of discarded plastic bottles

Plastic is everywhere. Last month 5 Gyres institute completed  a three-week sail from Bermuda to Iceland and found microplastic particles in every surface sample collected during the trip.

Plastic bridge 1

Continue reading