Project Kaisei Aims to Recycle Garbage Patch Plastic into Fuel

by Matt Ball on August 5, 2009


I reported yesterday about a Scripps Institute expedition to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and today learned of a related and concurrent mission that has been organized by the non-profit group Ocean Voyages Institute. The Project Kaisei mission is focused on plastic collection and the potential to recycle the material into diesel fuel. This summer’s first expedition aims to assess the feasability of the recycling plan, and to study the ocean conditions in the North Pacific Gyre.

Project Kaisei will be supported by the production of a documentary film, educational outreach, and a PR campaign. If this summer’s efforts are successful in capturing and processing large quantities of plastic debris, then the plan is to shift to large-scale clean-up efforts within 18 months.

You can track the expedition’s progress via a Google Earth interface with embedded video, and you can also follow the expedition via Twitter.

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Environmental Science Fair Projects August 6, 2009 at 8:51 am

This news story is a great resource for environmental science fair projects. Kids could look at how large garbage masses impact oceanic and coastal ecosystems and what threat they pose to all life forms in the region.

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