Charles Moore, discoverer of the 'Plastic Continent', visits Wageningen UR

Published on
March 23, 2010

Charles Moore, the discoverer of the Plastic Continent, visits Wageningen on Friday, March 26.


Pollution seems to have reached the highest peaks in the new millennium and everybody seems to believe that it takes a miracle to try and stop it. One of it’s most appalling examples is the Plastic Continent. During his visit on Friday, March 26, 2010, Charles Moore will be presenting his vision and state of the art knowledge about the plastic continent. He will also meet the recently established group of scientists and captains of industry who have agreed to collaborate to tackle the plastic continent by pooling their experiences and expertise. The ambition is a global conference about the Plastic Continent in 2012.

After the discovery of the plastic continent in 1997, Captain Moore came back a number of times to the area in the middle of the Pacific Ocean; instead of clear waters and a blue ocean, all he could see was an enormous amount of plastic. The amount of waste is huge: the area is about the size of Texas, and 34 times the Netherlands. To make matters worse, in the Atlantic Ocean – close to the Sargasso Sea – a similar plastic continent is forming.

Unfortunately, more than a decade later, knowledge about its impact, possible solutions to clean it up and strategies to involve the international community is still scarce. A group of Dutch captains of industry and scientists have agreed to tackle this problem. Not by campaigning, but to cleanup the mess and possibly produce useful components from this waste.
The Netherlands have an excellent worldwide reputation in dredging, shipping, logistics, and environmental & fuel engineering. A public relation offensive accompanying the cleanup action will trigger ideas, solutions and awareness to clean up the Plastic Continent. Clearly, a shift in production or a change in behaviour is needed. To enhance this initative even more, a representative of the Dutch company Van Gansewinkel Groep (waste and energy business) is on board of the clipper Stad Amsterdam, who is retracing the expedition of Darwin’s Beagle, to view the Plastic Continent up close.

Charles Moore will be in Wageningen on Wageningen Campus in Forum on March 26, 2010. The meeting is organized by the regional development agency, OostNV in cooperation with Wageningen UR.

More information about the meeting and the initative is available through Joep Koene, Oost NV, and 0628876091 or Bouke de Vos, Corporate Communication Wageningen UR, and
0317-4 80180

Source: Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij Oost Nederland NV