Jack Johnson, Plastic Pollution and 5 Gyres

5 Gyres is a non-profit institute that researches plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. Their mandate is to research, understand and communicate the impact of plastic pollution – focusing on the 5 subtropical gyres by sailing through them. Together with their partners, Pangaea Explorations and Algalita Marine Research Foundation, they organize research expeditions, inviting scientists, journalists and other sailors to join the crew.

To stop the flow of plastic to oceans and lakes they advocate new materials, better designed products, fair legislation, and engage in consumer education. (For instance, by advising consumers not to use personal care products containing plastic microbeads.)

5 Gyres’ post-consumer cleanup efforts focus on coastal and island debris removal and mitigation.

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This month, 5 Gyres is on a mission to make $2,500 in online donations by November 1st to support their mission and programming for the rest of the year. Their friend and fellow One Percenter Jack Johnson has promised to match any donation up to $2,500.

“Last week I had the chance to headline for Jack (this joke never gets old) at a 1% For The Planet event in San Francisco,” said 5 Gyres Director of Communications and Campaigns Stiv Wilson. “Yep, I actually spoke AFTER he played. But seriously, 5 Gyres is honored to work with Jack – 80% of his tour profits go to benefit causes he believes in.  At the 1% event, I mentioned that one cornerstone of our mandate on our expeditions is to be inclusive of the community working to solve this plastic problem – we don’t just take scientists to the gyres.

We make room for artists, writers, musicians, etc.  As I described this, I made the joke,’Hey Jack, you’re welcome to come on a voyage, I’d love the PR.’ It got the laughs I intended. But to my astonishment, afterwards, Jack came up to me and said, ‘Hey man, you know I’d really love to do that. I’d love to sail with you guys or figure out if we can do an event or something in a place where you visit.’ I gave him my business card and he said, ‘Great, thanks – I don’t really do email, but –’  This made me laugh out loud.  I was like, ‘Um, right, you’re like a major freaking rockstar, I wasn’t thinking we’d be texting about it.’  He laughed. I told him to just give my card to his people and we’d get him on the boat. Can’t wait for the gyre song to be written.”

Find out more about how you can help keep plastic out of our waters here. More about other 1% For The Planet ambassadors and initiatives here.

Plastic bag "jellyfish".
Plastic bag “jellyfish”.