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.