170 Tons of Plastic Removed from Pacific

Ocean Voyages Institute’s marine plastic recovery vessel, SV Kwai,  docked in Honolulu after 35 days at sea, successfully concluding the second and final haul of the nonprofit group’s 2020 open-ocean recovery mission, adding 67 tons to the record-setting 103 tons (206,000 lb.) removed in June, which became the largest open-ocean cleanup in history.

The nonprofit group’s total for the summer season now amounts to 170 tons (340,000 lb.) of ghost nets and plastic debris removed from the North Pacific Gyre (Great Pacific Garbage Patch), a staggering amount, which quadruples the group’s previous year’s record.

Ocean Voyages Institute’s high seas cleanup expedition began in May, with a 48-day mission, followed by a second 35-day leg which departed on July 1, with the Kwai logging more than 5,000 nautical mi. from Hawaii to the Pacific Gyre and back twice this summer. 

While docked in Honolulu, the ship’s crew will sort the debris into various types of plastics for upcycling and recycling with help from local volunteer groups.

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