The Ocean Voyages Institute group said the mission was the “largest and most successful ocean cleanup to date” in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Using satellite and unmanned aircraft technology, the team removed garbage. The more common objects are detergent bottles, plastic furniture and children’s toys. They also collected fishing tools called “ghost nets”, with a weight of 5 tons and another of 8 tons.
“Removing the huge ghost nets from the ocean is very important. But sometimes it’s the little ghost nets that wrap around the whales and the dolphins and kill them, “Mary Crowley, founder of the Ocean Voyages Institute, told CNN.
According to Crowley, the art program of the University of Hawaii and individual artists from the island delivered approximately 1.5 tons of the collected plastic.
There are still many more waste. Forty tons may seem like a lot, it’s equivalent in weight to about 24 cars, or 6.5 adult elephants.
But the 25-day expedition probably barely made a difference.
It is estimated that between 1.15 and 2.41 million tons of plastic enter the ocean each year. “What we’ve done is small compared to the magnitude of the problem, but it’s scalable and it can spread,” Crowley said.
“What we have already done has saved many fish, dolphins and whales. It was a real test of the concept of being able to find the debris and collect it, bring it back and reuse it effectively and efficiently. “
How does garbage get to the Great Pacific Spot?
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), garbage patches, as found in the Pacific Ocean, are the rotating currents of the elements that drag objects to one place.
The material, which goes from plastics to other garbage, takes “a long time” to decompose, said NOAA.
These debris areas endanger wildlife.
Crowley said his group is planning a longer cleanup expedition in the future and hopes other organizations can follow suit.