Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

40 tonnes of plastic waste removed from the ocean

Environmentalists removed more than 40 tonnes of plastic waste from the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and California, says a CNN news report.

The environmental protection organisation Ocean Voyages Institute has collected the waste from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. They emphasised that this has been “the largest and most successful ocean cleanup to date” in the region.

To make the amount easier to imagine, the report stated that

40 tonnes of plastic is equivalent in weight to about 24 cars or 6 or 7 grown elephants.

The expedition lasted 25 days. The group used satellite and drone technology. They primarily collected plastic bottles, furniture and toys from the water. They also found abandoned fishing nets: one of the so-called ghost nets weighed 5 tonnes, the other 8 tonnes.

The plastic ghost nets collect massive quantities of plastic waste. Mary Crowley, the founder of Ocean Voyages Institute emphasised that while removing the monster ghost nets from the ocean is very important, smaller ones can also cause great damage, because whales and dolphins get tangled in them and perish.

1.5 tonnes of the plastic waste collected was given to the University of Hawaii graduate art program and individual artists in Hawaii, who will transform them into sculptures and other works of art. The remaining waste will be processed and used to generate energy.

Crowley noted that relative to the magnitude of the problem, this has only been a small step, but it still saved a lot of fish, dolphins and whales. She added that her group is also planning a longer, three-month cleanup effort, and they hope that other organisations will follow suit.

1.5 tonnes of the plastic waste collected was given to the University of Hawaii graduate art program and individual artists in Hawaii Photo: Facebook/Ocean Voyages Institute
Further information: CNN

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