The Octonauts and the Ocean Gyre Cleanup

The ocean is full of currents, which surge powerfully across the globe. But sometimes these currents form eddies, which go round and round and round, concentrating rubbish in whatcha-me-call-its known as ocean gyres.

A couple of months ago, A’s workplace decided to organise a beach cleanup in order to prove that they are not an entirely evil multinational corporation, and/or give their employees the illusion of a meaningful existence so they can get away with paying them less, not sure which. Two weeks ago, my rambling drew me into a discussion on the privatisation of beaches, in which we all agreed that it’d be great if beaches were publicly accessible, with the proviso that the public give a rat’s (derrie-air) about taking care of said beaches. And last week we went SUP boarding, as usual. These things eddied in my mind, going round and round and round, collecting rubbish. It’s time to see if we can extract something of value.

You may have heard of a whacky scheme put forward by 19-year-old Boyan Slat to clean the world’s ocean gyres of plastic within five years, and all at a tidy profit. If you haven’t, skip that link and read this very convincing argument on why it won’t work by Stiv Wilson (age unknown) of Or use these cliff notes: the best way to clean up ocean gyres is by cleaning up your beaches. Or, actually, by not rubbishing them in the first place.

Here’s something that will blow your mind—to clean the ocean of floating plastic, you don’t need to go out and get it, it will come to you.


The first step in solving the problem is to personally lower your plastic consumption. The next steps are to get involved in cleanups, get involved in campaigns to eliminate problem products, and demand that companies take responsibility for their products post consumer.

Read more: The Fallacy of Cleaning the Gyres of Plastic With a Floating “Ocean Cleanup Array” | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

The corporate beach cleanup has been postponed, but nothing stops P and T’s love of The Octonauts, which is how an innocent paddle led to a TV-driven game, and finally a home video:

I’d ask you to join me in some do-gooder unplasticky blog meme but I know that’s probably the fastest way to remind you of all those lolcats you haven’t got around to sharing on facebook yet (no disrespect to for-fun blog memes… or lolcats), so instead I’ll just let you know that if you happen – of your own, free volition – to refuse, reuse, recycle, or rrrr…. rubbish bin some plastic this week, and you tell me about it, I’ll be more than happy to give you a shout out. On a list, which I will create below. Which will not be a do-gooder meme list, at all.

And if you’re in Singapore between October 4th and November 30th, you can – if you like, only if you like – go one step further and visit the more-or-less-related River Of Life exhibition at Gardens By The Bay. It’s free! Actually, it’s sponsored by ExxonMobil, who for some reason feel they should go much further on the prove-we’re-not-evil front than postponing the odd beach cleanup.