The 5 Gyres Institute

Week 49: The 5 Gyres Institute

5 Gyres empowers action against the global health crisis of plastic pollution through science, art, education, and adventure. 

So, first things first. A gyre is a “large-scale system of wind-driven surface currents in the ocean”. There is a large accumulation of plastic that form in the five subtropical gyres as a result of the diminished winds and currents. “Basically, plastic is trapped within these currents, taking at least 10 years to cycle back out—if it doesn’t first get eaten by marine life or sink to the bottom.”

Plastic was first introduced in the 1950s as a miraculous substance that was cheap, lightweight and could be thrown away after use. But we quickly realized that there is no “away.” Most plastic never really biodegrades—it remains in our environment for hundreds of years.

The The 5 Gyres Institute’s vision is a world free of plastic pollution. They are members of Break Free From Plastic, an “international group of NGOs that joined together in 2016 to fight plastic pollution, sharing the common values of environmental protection and social justice”, are founding members of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, “a global alliance of organizations, businesses, and thought leaders working toward a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impact on humans, animals, and the environment”, and are part of the Plastic Pollution Policy Project, “a collaborative group of non-profits focused on design change for global solutions”. In 2017 they received special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

This week was a huge education for me, and I am stepping up my game. I realize that I have the opportunity to be a lot more conscious of my plastic consumption moving forward.

We only have one earth, and each individual choice adds up. 

Cheers from my re-useable mug!

Happy Monday,