The ocean is our planet’s greatest source of life. Tragically, it’s also turned into the world’s garbage can. There are an estimated 150 million tons of plastic currently in the ocean, and while there are efforts to clean up the water, this number continues to increase dramatically with each passing year.
The Ocean Voyages Institute is trying to combat the unbelievable amount of plastic that makes its way into the ocean every year, and this year, they set yet another record in their efforts. The group traveled to the Pacific Garbage Patch, which is a collection of trash in the ocean that’s a whopping two times the size of Texas. Together, they managed to remove 103 tons of plastic in their 48-day trip before returning to Honolulu.
It’s an incredible amount of garbage (indeed, a record-setting amount of garbage cleaned up from the open ocean), but it barely scrapes the surface of the amount of plastic currently disrupting marine life. The crew found fishing nets, consumer plastic, and, tragically, the remains of countless marine animals who had been caught up in the filth. But their efforts have made a huge difference and will hopefully save many fish, mammals, reptiles, and birds who may have otherwise lost their lives due to the plastic.
Check out the video to see the journey of this incredible group: