A key solution to eliminating plastic waste in our global ocean is to halt the flow of materials from shore. Each one of us can have a positive impact by taking personal responsibility and a few easy steps. Many people making small changes can make a big difference for our global ocean and environment.

Lead by Example

  • Make a conscious decision to stop using single use plastic and styrofoam items such as forks, plates, cups, etc in you and your family’s day to day life whenever possible.
  • Replace single and limited use disposable plastic items with long-lasting durable ones, (metal, ceramic or glass containers for beverages and foods, canvas bags for shopping, etc) which can be re-used.
  • Drink the good quality tap water or install a water filter in your home and ask your work to do the same. This simple step can give you great clean water, saves you money and greatly reduces waste created from single use plastic water bottles.

Educate and Encourage

  • Educate your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers about the effects incorrectly disposed of plastic waste is having on our environment, both on shore and in the ocean.
  • Encourage people to make changes in their consumption of single use plastic by putting alternatives in their hand, stainless water bottles and canvas bags can be great gifts!
  • Become involved with your local, city and county government to be sure they are fostering sound environmental policy.
  • Choose elected officials that are working to create, support and enact responsible environmental policies.

Become an Advocate

  • Volunteer and support the organizations such as Project Kaisei who are working on solutions to this problem. Participate in clean-up events such as cleanup of beaches, parks, waterways, roads, etc. If you don’t have any active clean up events in your area, then start one!
  • Buy products that follow principles of sustainability. Purchase fresh locally grown produce and foods which are not packaged and shipped from out of the area.
  • Look at the products you buy. Make sure they are made from recycled materials. Look at alternative products which use minimal plastic and/or recycled materials.
  • Contact companies and tell them to use environmentally sound packaging in their products.


Since 2009 Ocean Voyages Institute (OVI) has been sounding the alarm about the mounting threat of ocean plastics—and finding solutions. [Add sentence about all Gyre voyages] In our eight cleanup voyages to the Pacific Gyre, mid-way between California and Hawaii, OVI had retrieved more than 700,000 pounds of plastic debris—ranging from household plastic trash to abandoned fishing nets. In 2020, OVI completed the largest open-ocean cleanup in history—recovering and upcycling, recycling and repurposing some 340,000 pounds (170  tons) of plastics. We’re now preparing to take these proven methods to scale. 

Over the last four years, OVI has developed and successfully employed satellite-tracking technologies to locate and recover some of the largest and most destructive of all plastic pollution—enormous “ghost nets,” derelict fishing gear, that drifts below the ocean’s surface, entangling ships and entrapping wildlife. In addition to our removal of ghost nets, we have removed tons of consumer debris – both that has been caught by the ghost nets and scooped up by our ships.

With a lead grant from Matson Navigation Company, OVI has launched a campaign to build and operate two custom-designed sailing vessels, enabling OVI to extend our clean-up operations beyond the summer months and focus on collecting plastics in areas of the Pacific most at risk, including Marine Protected Areas.

“OVI’s proven method for removing plastics from the ocean efficiently and sustainably is a scalable, viable global solution,” says Matson CEO and Chairman Matt Cox. “Matson is proud to support this project, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with OVI to advance its important work in the years to come.”