The photo shows a sample of water from the North Pacific Gyre, specifically Sample #23 taken at latitude 34°30.87North, longitude 158°50.93West by the researchers on the Oceanographic Research Vessel Alguita this winter. And that thumb at the bottom of the photo is mine.
Anna Cummins, part of the Alguita crew, sent me the sample to use for Rethinking Plastics presentations. When it arrived last week, I sat down for a minute and wept. Can you see the mixture of plastic and plankton? This is what we are dealing with. This is the bottom of the food chain. It’s probably toxic and can probably never be cleaned up.
Here’s a map showing exactly where the sample came from:
Friday morning, I took my sample with me, along with a Power Point presentation, Synthetic Sea DVD, and other items for “show and tell,” to Wells Fargo Bank to co-present my very first Green Sangha Rethinking Plastics program with Solvig Palm-Nicholls. Wells Fargo has a “Green Team” that works to find ways to be more environmentally friendly in the office. We were invited by Wells Fargo employee and Fake Plastic Fish reader, Tanya (of the yummy salmon recipe), to come and present our information to the group. Not only did we have a room full of interested employees, but also several people who dialed in and logged on to NetMeeting to take part in the presentation remotely.
We started a little late due to technical difficulties, so the first part of our presentation, a short history of the invention of plastics, was skipped. We made a few other changes to customize the slide show for Wells Fargo.
We also planned to show the 9-minute DVD, Synthetic Sea. Unfortunately, Wells Fargo’s DVD player would not work. Fortunately, we were able to access this low resolution web version and play it instead. Not as beautiful, but it got the point across.
Do you work for or belong to an organization in the Bay Area that would benefit from a Rethinking Plastics presentation? Please let me know. Now that I’ve gotten the first one under my belt, I’m looking forward to doing more! In fact, I’m scheduled to do a presentation at a high school in a few weeks. Wish me luck on that one. Teenagers scare the crap out of me.
And in related news, another FPF reader, Alice, sent me this link to a recent BBC series on the plastic problems in the North Pacific Gyre as well as the Midway Atoll. It’s well worth watching!