Take Only Steps Forward

Published on March 1st, 2016

Initiated by the Race for Water foundation, the “Race for Water Odyssey” was a unique expedition in 2015 aimed to draw up the first global assessment of plastic pollution in the ocean by visiting island beaches situated in the five trash vortexes.

The objective was to compile a human and environmental assessment of the current state of plastic pollution in the oceans, and raise awareness about the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean in order to bring together the general public, industries, and legislators together against this issue.

This worthy mission was played out as the team sailed the oceans on their MOD70 trimaran, but the mission was cut short when they capsized on September 12, 2015 in the Indian Ocean, 90 miles south east from the Chagos Archipelago. While the boat was salvaged, the rig was not. They cut it free, thus contributing waste to an ocean they set out to assess.

Over four months later, the team has presented the highlights of the expedition, as well as their environmental and scientific conclusions in the form of an exclusive 18-minute documentary. “The Plastic Odyssey” illustrating the alarming state of the oceans, as the crew of the adventure could observe it.

“It is clear that an efficient grand-scale clean-up of the ocean is unrealistic,” says Marco Simeoni, president of the foundation. “The so-called 7th continent doesn’t exist. Accumulation zones are more similar to gigantic plastic soups. It is almost impossible to retrieve debris, as an important part of them also sink or break up into micro particles.”

Yes, sink like a mast, rigging and sails.

The foundation does want to do good, seeking to help remote areas convert trash to energy (see report). However, if there is a lesson in their misstep, it is for all future efforts that strive to ‘save our oceans’ take only steps forward.

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