AMA #9–5 Gyres

2 min readSep 27, 2021

Our livestream series continues this week, and for our ninth edition we’re joined by Sara Mais from 5 Gyres — another of our pioneering partner organisations. The main focus of 5 Gyres is plastic pollution, so that’s what we’re going to be talking about this week — what do we mean by plastic pollution, how does it get into our oceans, what effect does it have, and what can we do about it? Sara and the SEA team will answer your questions — head over to our Twitter right now and get your questions in.

Founded in 2009, 5 Gyres is a global pioneer in research and engagement on the subject of plastic pollution. Founders Anna Cummins and Marcus Eriksen kicked things off with an epic journey — they used 15,000 plastic bottles and an abandoned aircraft fuselage to build a raft (that’s it in the image above), which Marcus sailed 2000 miles through the North Pacific Gyre, from California to Hawaii.

Since then they’ve carried out 19 expeditions in the five subtropical gyres, conducting critical first-hand research on the presence and effect of plastic pollution. They’ve built a huge community around the planet, with over 1800 ambassadors in 66 countries driving local change.

5 Gyres’ contribution to the global fight against plastic is huge — they’re members of glocal comminities such as Break Free From Plastic and Plastic Pollution Coalition, and in 2017 received special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

We’ll be talking about the mechanics of plastic accumulation zones — areas of specific wind and current conditions which trap plastic waste, keeping it in these ocean cycles for up to a decade whilst it gets eaten by marine life. We’ll be discussing why recycling isn’t what most people think it is, and what we need to do to fix it. We’ll be learning about the realities of plastic in the ocean — about the mythical “garbage island” in the North Pacific Gyre, and the much more complex reality of the plastic “smog” which infiltrates the entire ocean.

So, join us on our Twitch channel at 17:00 UTC this Wednesday, the 29th of September, to get the lowdown on ocean plastic and what we can do about it! Don’t forget to ask your questions on out Twitter before the event — the best questions win prizes! And of course, we’ll be running the SEA Quiz after the chat, with extra prizes for tuning in and paying attention!

For more information on our AMA series, visit

See you there!




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