Essays, poems and Stories of an African-American

Saturday, 12 March 2016

The Great Pacific garbage patch: Courtesy of Avaaz!

Great Pacific garbage Patch.  Source:Avaaz

A shocking new study says that by 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish. 

What we're doing to our planet is just obscene. It might shake our faith in humanity. But then you hear about Terry, Christina, and Chris -- 3 friends who read about the plastic problem and the Great Pacific garbage patch -- a vast semi-dissolved island of waste twice the size of France. 

They were disgusted, and invented a simple solution -- the SeaVax, a solar-powered ship that can suck up to 22 million kgs of plastic a year! Just a small number of these ships could clean up the entire Pacific garbage patch in just 10 years!! 

It's a beautiful example of people rising to a great challenge of our time. But it's just begun, and it needs our help. The first SeaVax model has been built, but needs funding to scale it up to the awesome task of the world's greatest clean-up. For just the price of a meal or a cup of coffee, we can turn this story from one of obscenity to inspiration. Pitch in to help make the SeaVax dream a reality, and scale-up other ambitious projects to rid our oceans of plastic: 

In December, I visited a remote island off the coast of Vietnam and Cambodia. It was stunning. But then a wind blew in, and for the next two days, the ocean was covered in garbage, from candy wrappers to styrofoam. It was obscene, apocalyptic. 

The discomfort such pollution causes us humans is nothing next to the damage it’s doing to our precious oceanic ecosystems. Dolphins, whales, fish, every living thing is affected -- particularly as the plastic degrades into tinier pieces that clog airways, mouths, and gills. 

The SeaVax is a big vision, a solar-powered, self-driving ship that sucks up plastic but has special sensors to protect marine life. And it’s big ideas like this and others like it that we need. If we scale them up, we can help them get traction and show even greater results -- and then our community can push governments to take action to take these ideas to scale. 

The Avaaz movement is uniquely able to help here - there's no larger global community able to crowdfund. It's on us to help these inventors' dream become a reality, to help other great projects find the light of day, and to give the entire world hope. For the price of an average meal out, you can help clean up 170,000 pieces of plastic! -- click to pitch in: 

Of course, in addition to cleaning up our oceans, we have to stop dumping so much waste into them. Starting with these funds, our community could:
  • Work with projects to reduce the flow of plastics into the ocean in the worst-polluting countries;
  • Identify other ambitious ideas focused on clean-up of the garbage patches using new technologies;
  • Organise community and beach clean-ups to stop plastic from finding its way to the ocean;
  • Push governments to limit or ban plastic -- like San Francisco recently did with plastic water bottles.
Avaaz has campaigned for and won some of the largest ocean preserves in history, in the Chagos islands of the Indian Ocean, and in the American Pacific. We've also worked to ban plastic bags in some cities. Let's make the inspiring story of the SeaVax the beginning of a wave of global people power to reach a comprehensive solution to this scourge of our oceans. Out of our disgust at the Pacific garbage patch, let’s help an inspiring new world of commitment and love for our oceans be born. 

With hope and gratitude for this amazing community,
Ricken and the whole Avaaz team. 


Solar-powered vacuum could suck up 24,000 tons of ocean plastic every year (Eco Watch) 

By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans, study says (Washington Post) 

SeaVax - Robotic Vacuum Ship 

Plastic oceans: What do we know? (BBC) 

Full scale of plastic in the world's oceans revealed for first time (The Guardian) 

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