We talk a lot about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where an incredible amount of plastic is floating around wreaking havoc on ecosystems and working its way back up the food chain into our bodies. Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummins are nearing the end of their 2,600 mile bike ride and lecture tour to raise awareness about the fact that we're filling up the oceans with our junk. The Algalita Marine Research Foundation, a Long Beach-based nonprofit organization,founded by Captain Charles Moore, is behind JUNKride 2009, in which Eriksen, director of research and education with the Algalita Marine Research Foundation (AMRF), and Cummins, AMRF's education advisor, set a goal to bike from Vancouver, BC to Tijuana, Mexico delivering lectures about the Pacific Trash Gyre. Check out images of the mess on our slideshow.
All along the way, they've been stopping off to give out jars of "plastic soup" to people who are working hard on environmental issues, such as San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. When people actually see what is being pulled out of the Pacific - and see what marine animals are ingesting - it starts to sink in that we're going to be eating our own plastic mess very soon.
"In ten years, the amount of trash floating out to sea has doubled," Eriksen says. "We've got to find a better way soon. We're already finding plastic waste in the food we eat."
JUNKride will wrap up soon but you can check out progress and lecture dates near you on their website.
More on Great Pacific Garbage Patch
First Great Pacific Garbage Patch Clean-Up Effort to Begin
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch: "Out of Sight, Out of Mind"