What is a Gyre?
A gyre is a natural phenomena, it is a large rotating system made up of ocean currents, and winds. It is like a whirlpool or massive vortex. The word gyre can be used to refer to any type of vortex in the air or the sea, even one that is man-made. A piece of plastic waste in the North Pacific Gyre can take ten years to travel to Japan and back.
located in the North Pacific Gyre is the
Great Pacific Garbage Patch
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch formed gradually as a result of ocean or marine pollution gathered by oceanic currents. This area draws in waste from across the North Pacific Ocean, including the coastal waters off North America and Japan. The main source of marine debris is the improper waste disposal or management of trash, including plastics. The waste range in size from abandoned fishing nets to micro-pellets used in cleaners.
There are eight plastic garbage patches located over the five gyres. This is an international problem which needs a solution made on multiple international levels. Reports are now coming in that we will surpass the amount of fish in our oceans, by 2050 if we do nothing to solve this urgent problem facing our oceans and marinelife.
Plastic in the ocean never goes away, it only breaks down into smaller and smaller particles. As the plastic breaks down into micro-particles, the fish injest the plastic, and then humans eat the fish, therefore entering the food chain.
What can you do locally?
Make sure that the garbage never reaches our oceans
Reduce the amount of plastic that you use
Refuse the plastic straw offered, refuse the plastic cutlery with your take out food
Set goals to reduce and eliminate plastic from your life
What can you do globally?
Hold Plastic producing companies accountable: finding ways for recovering and making plastic 100% recyclable
Support companies Using innovative ways to re-use plastic and help support impoverished countries.
Thread is an innovative company doing this. They are a young company from Pittsburgh who has traveled to Haiti to deal with their acute problem of plastic bottles.
They hire people to collect the bottles, which gets cleaned and shredded, turned into thread, and woven into fabric for use in sports apparel, boots and shoes, messenger bags, and other goods. By doing this, Thread not only deals with the epidemic of plastic, but also deals with the overwhelming poverty, and unemployment in Haiti.
Method Soaps: Cleaning up our oceans
Singer Pharrell created a clothing
line: RAW for the Oceans
Adidas: Adidas has already made the upper portion of their shoe from recycled ocean plastic!
Scubapro is already making scuba diving suits from recycled plastic bottles
Plastic pollution is a global epidemic but we can now look at it as a chance to create and explore design ideas for products that we use in every day life
What is it?
How can it help protect our oceans and marine life?
Pristine, fragile, and sometimes undisturbed natural areas of the world.
Respect… Local cultures and environment
Support…Support conservation efforts
Financial empowerment for local people
Help… Support villages transitioning from depleting marine life to leading eco-tourism of marine life.
More money is generated from eco-tourism than from the fishing of marine life for profit
The emerging shark tourism industry attracts nearly 600,000 shark watchers annually, directly supporting 10,000 jobs
Sharks join Manta Rays as sea creatures worth more alive than dead.
The role of the shark in the Ocean
As apex predators of our oceans, the shark’s role is to keep other marine life in a healthy balance and to regulate the oceans. Remove sharks and that balance is seriously compromised