The Mission

The Plastic Vortex

Project Outcomes and Impact

The Documentary

Background Data

Publicity and PR

News Coverage

Educational Activities

World Ocean Day

World Environment Day

Project Kaisei Team

Sponsors and Partners

Further Information

Press Releases

Contact Details

How severe is the problem?

Every year over 60 billion tons of plastic are produced, much of it for one-time use and less than 5% of the world’s plastics are recycled. National Geographic estimates that over 85 million plastic bottles are used every three minutes. In many cases, plastic waste that is not incinerated or land-filled makes its way to the oceans.

Currently there are no proposed solutions to resolve the issue of removal of marine debris floating in the oceans. Most believe it is not possible to clean such a vast region, and aim for more responsible handling of waste on shore. Using advanced technology, however, Project Kaisei will test existing technologies to learn if debris collected in the Plastic Vortex can be detoxified and processed into fuel via a patented technology that is now just beginning operations in a number of countries.

How has this problem been allowed to continue?

In terms of our general population, many people are not aware of the problems in our oceans, ranging from:

  • Overfishing and illegal fishing methods
  • Pollution – including marine debris
  • Acidification
  • Temperature rise
  • Continued coastal development

This is because most people do not venture far off their shores and, moreover, when problems occur in international waters, it becomes more difficult to address due to multiple governments, and the location of the debris which is in international waters. The problem has been economic, cultural and due to lack of coordination and cooperation among government agencies, municipalities and the private sector. Project Kaisei hopes to address some of these issues, and bring a wide variety of vested parties together to help develop new solutions.

Who is behind Project Kaisei?

Leaders of Project Kaisei are highly motivated and experienced ocean conservationists, film producers and entrepreneurs, spread between San Francisco, Hong Kong and London. The Project was founded by ocean and conservation leaders Doug Woodring, George Orbelian and Mary Crowley, with the assistance of Ed Kosior, a renowned plastics expert, who has been developing a new solution to treating ocean-based plastic waste. This system uses low heat, no oxygen, and allows for a wide variety of plastic waste to be processed into diesel fuel. It is feasible that this equipment can be used from a boat while at sea, but actual deployment at sea will depend on the volume of debris that will be estimated to be collected.

The expedition will be organized under the Ocean Voyages Institute, which is a non-profit organization devoted to the preservation of the Maritime Arts and Arts and Sciences and the Ocean Environment. Ocean Voyages Institute is a “501 C 3” California Registered non-profit organization.

© 2009 Project Kaisei. All rights reserved.