We close another year of Science Soapbox by learning about the battle being waged against plastic pollution in our waters and its impact on public policy and perception. We talk with Marcus Eriksen — science educator, researcher, and founder of 5 Gyres Institute — to hear about his advocacy on behalf of our planet’s waters. He talks about his new book Junk Raft, which documents his three-month trip across the pacific on a raft made of recycled junk with a cessna hull for a cabin. Through our conversation, we learned about lobbying tactics used by the plastic industry and got to handle plastic trash from the ocean with bite marks from turtles and fish.
Here are some of the links and references mentioned during the show:
- Marcus’s book Junk Raft: An Ocean Voyage and a Rising Tide of Activism to Fight Plastic Pollution hit the presses this summer. You can learn more and order a copy here.
- Learn more about the 5 Gyres Institute and the work they do on their official webpage.
- Marcus spoke about the “Crying Indian” ad for the Keep America Beautiful Campaign. This year, The Chicago Tribune revisited the campaign in a commentary The ‘Crying Indian’ ad that fooled the environmental movement
Below are pictures of the plastic objects Marcus retrieved from the waters.
This episode was recorded on November 13, 2017 in the Rockefeller University Outreach Lab. Special thanks to Visager for music.