Marine plastic pollution seminar with Marcus Eriksen, PhD Dec. 3

December 3, 2014

On Wednesday, December 3rd from 5pm to 6pm in E51-325, attend a special seminar on marine plastic pollution that asks, “What can floating an airplane across the Pacific Ocean on 15,000 plastic bottles tell you about the world’s garbage patches?” This seminar title refers to the most recent adventure of the seminar speaker Marcus Eriksen, PhD, which sent him and a colleague across the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii on JUNK, a homemade raft made up of 15,000 plastic bottles with a Cessina airplane fuselage as a cabin. The journey, 2,600 miles in 88 days, drew widespread awareness to the work of the 5 Gyres Institute and the “throw away” culture that has trashed the world’s oceans with plastic to the tune of 270,000 metric tons from 5.25 trillion particles. A majority of what people eat, drink, or use in contemporary society comes packaged in petroleum-based plastic – a material designed to last forever yet used for products that we throw away after a single use. During this seminar, Eriksen, Director of Research & Co-Founder at 5 Gyres Institute, will present results from field studies on the current state of the science of plastic marine pollution, including results from the upcoming global estimate of total plastic abundance – the first of its kind. With a focus on solutions, Eriksen will discuss how freshwater research discovered microbeads, which led to legislative victories within one year of publication. Refreshments will be served before the seminar at 4:30pm. Please RSVP for this event!

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