Sailboat Kaisei researches Pacific Ocean debris.
John Chen of San Jose, Calif.-based Tung Tai Group has welcomed back the sailboat Kaisei from its mission researching Pacific Ocean debris. Among the main sponsors of the mission was the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), of which Tung Tai Group is a member company. Chen extended his welcome at a press conference held Sept. 1 in San Francisco.
Kaisei was one of two boats on a four-week mission to what is called the North Pacific Gyre, a system of rotating ocean currents that is home to what has become known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a collection of debris (largely plastic) that stretches out over a space estimated at twice the size of Texas.
Throughout the expedition, the crew of the Kaisei and the other boat, the New Horizon, kept interested parties informed of findings and preliminary research results via blogs, Facebook pages and other means of online communication.
Chen commended the Project on behalf of BIR President Dominique Maguin: “The Bureau of International Recycling is very enthusiastic about the outcome of this project, which highlights in a unique way what BIR has been promoting at an international scale for the last 60 years: Recycling and waste prevention are indispensable for the well-being of our planet.”
Chen also remarked that phenomena like the marine debris in the Gyre were a constant reminder that efforts must be increased to put the necessity for recycling and waste prevention at the forefront of public awareness.
“In order to protect the environment and to ensure a sustainable management of resources, recycling must be increased and facilitated,” said Chen, “and products, at the stage of their conception, should be designed for recycling. The recycling industry represented by BIR has a wealth of experience to respond to the world’s increasing need for solutions in this respect.”
He called upon organizations such as the United Nations, the OECD and national governments and municipalities to continue to put into place the necessary legislation and work hand-in-hand with the private recycling sector.
“We believe that Project Kaisei has contributed immensely to increasing this public awareness, by using all channels of contemporary communication, but even more so by [the crews’] exemplary enthusiasm and their unbreakable optimism,” said Chen.
Project Kaisei will conduct additional analysis and publish the results of its findings in the next several months.