Local students can compete for a place on the world’s first expedition testing how to clean up a floating patch of plastic waste more than 1,000 times bigger than Hong Kong.
The estimated 4 million tonnes of plastic waste floating on the Pacific Ocean was discovered in 1997 by boat captain Charles Moore. He caught sight of the trash while on his way home after finishing a Los Angeles-Hawaii sailing race.
Called the Plastic Vortex, the trash inspired Project Kaisei, an America-based environmental organisation that studies marine pollution, to plan an expedition in July and August – and it will look for volunteers in Asian universities.
“This is one of the top 10 man-made disasters ever, but no one knows about it,” said Doug Wood- ring, ocean and conservation expert from the Hong Kong team. “It’s in the ocean and no one sees it.”
Project Kaisei’s pilot mission aims to test technologies and evaluate the problem before a full-scale cleanup in 18 months.