This movie documents Jo Ruxton on a journey to the North Pacific Gyre.This area of the ocean is known for containing a significant amount of garbagecollected, and more specifically plastic that has collected from differentcountries throughout the world.
As they set out on this journey, Ruxton hadexpected to have discovered a large amount of plastic debris floating andvisible in the ocean waters. However, what was discovered was not as expected.Instead of large amounts of debris, was a huge amount of what was calledmicroplastic floating in the water. These plastics were not always visible tothe person floating in the water, but when the water was skimmed the plasticbecame clearly visible. As a result of this discovery, there was a desire tosee the reduction of plastic used in the world, and even more importantly theamount of plastic being released into the world’s environment and oceans. As part of this project, Ruston joined with Craig Leeson, who was ajournalist, to help document the project.
In addition, Dr. Lindsay Porter, anexpert in cetaceans, was also brought on board to determine the effects of themicroplastics on the ocean’s wildlife. As the project began to expand, otherprofessionals who had already discovered plastics in different gyres throughoutthe world were also included in the project. Dr. Bonnie Monteleone, was one ofthese scientist, who had already conducted a substantial amount of research onthe presences of plastic in the ocean, and helped to lead the expedition to theSouth Pacific Gyre.
Because of the increase in the amount of information thatwas discovered on plastic in the ocean, a four year voyage to study the world’soceans, the effects it has on wildlife health, and ultimately human health. One impression that stood out to me was theamount of plastic that was being consumed by marine animals, including fish andbirds. Because of the large amounts of plastic that had made its way into theocean and the environment worldwide, there was a significant amount of plasticconsumed by the wildlife.
A number of the fish being able to be sold in somemarkets in southeast Asia along the coast have been affected as microplasticshave been consumed by the fish. As a result, not only are the fish beingdirectly affected, but the economy of the surrounding countries is alsonegatively affected as the fishing market is negatively impacted. Similarly,birds in the region are consuming large amounts of plastic. So much so thatbirds were often found along the coast, having died as a result ofcomplications from plastic having been digested. So much plastic was digestedthat some of the birds found had digested nearly 15% of their body weight inplastic debris, causing them not to be able to fly or digest their food.