Plastic Not So Fantastic


Plastic Not So Fantastic

Seeing your recent commentary about the TransPac and how often Alfa Romeo had to stop to clear plastic from their keel and rudder, I thought it’d be a good idea to send this to you. As a sailor working professionally on yachts all too often do I see the destructive effects of plastic tossed carelessly adrift. Last year I nearly pegged a submerged plastic drum with the rudder of a Swan 82 while blast reaching across the Atlantic- I can only imagine what carnage would’ve ensued if I was 3 meters to windward!

So I hope you have some use for this wee essay of mine. I’m hoping to raise a bit more consciousness amongst sailors on the effects of plastic at sea- even those small bits of electrical tape, or water bottles washed overboard while racing. Project Kaisei is an organization I’m involved with that is aimed specifically at finding solutions to the massive plastic ‘vortex’ in the high pressure between Hawaii and California. Ideas, thoughts and comments welcome.

I was listening to the radio the other day when a random statistic fluttered through the headphones, through my ears and into my consciousness, and I felt more than compelled to share it with you all. The bomb the radio station dropped that caught my usually fleeting attention was, in no uncertain terms, astounding. A quick bit of research has validated this remarkable claim, which is nothing less than utterly devastating: It is estimated that the human race goes through an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags per year.