Half of the South Pacific Gyre Expedition Team took a trip to Neibla, Chile to see the sea. We are two days away from venturing into the South Pacific Subtropical Gyre, the last of the unexplored 5 subtropical gyres in the world. On the bus we were all talking about what kind of plastic we would see on the beach, not “IF” there would be plastic at all. I thought this to be a strange new reality in the world today. It wasn’t this way when I was a kid three decades ago. There just wasn’t that much of it. Now the baseline for “normal” has shifted. This is a warning and reminder to kids today, “Plastic Pollution all over your beach isn’t normal!” The best litter programs in the world do not keep plastic pollution from the sea – not when the plastic is made to last forever, and the product is designed to be thrown away.
That’s where we find the most effective solution to curbing plastic pollution, simply end the production of the most environmentally harmful products, like single-use throwaways. Then we can focus on smarter design, smarter materials, and cultivate smarter consumers.
Crewmembers (half the team of 13) – Paula Alvarado, Andy Keller, Ben Lear, Anna Cummins, Marcus Eriksen, Charlie Bradford