This talk was held in 2009, since then, not much has happened to deal with the enormous environmental problem of plastics – unable to be broken down in nature – that accumulate in the world’s oceans. Captain Charles Moore was the man who discovered the Pacific Gyre. The vast waste of trash that swirls in the Pacific, poisoning the ocean life consisting of plastic from industrial waste, human garbage, from sail boats and sunscreen lotion.


This the problem with plastics are is made relevant in the news again as the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument was expanded this week, making it the world’s largest protected area, encompassing 1,5m sq km (583,000 square miles) of ocean waters, including ten islands and atolls of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, making it the world’s largest protected area.

In 2012, Australia created then biggest marine reserve, now surpassed, an area encompassing 3.1m sq km (1.2m sq miles) of ocean including the entire Coral Sea, and encompass a third of the island continent’s territorial waters.

Plastic garbage do not recognize borders however and even if marine reserves are a good thing, the fundamental problem remains. On a positive note, recycling of plastics are possible, alternative degradable materials are possible, and new concept solutions able to break down and collect plastics exists.