Environmentalists have removed more than 40 tonnes of trash from the Pacific
The sailing cargo ship Kwai docked in Honolulu last month after a 25-day voyage with 40 tonnes of fishing nets and consumer plastics aboard, gathered from what has become known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
The group, Ocean Voyages Institute, said the cleanup mission was the "largest and most successful ocean cleanup to date" . The patch, between Hawaii and California, is the biggest concentration of floating debris in the world.
Using satellite and drone technology, the crew removed trash including detergent bottles, plastic furniture and children's toys. They also collected fishing gear called "ghost nets," with one weighing 5 tons and another weighing 8 tons. "Ghost nets" are massive nets of nylon or polypropylene that drift and accumulate plastic debris.
About 1.5 tons of the collected plastic was given to the University of Hawaii graduate art program and individual artists on the island, Crowley said. The artists plan to transform the plastic into sculptures and other works. The remaining amount is expected to be processed by Schnitzer Steel and sent to Hawaii's H-POWER plant to be turned into energy.