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.

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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

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