“In 2008, Marcus and I met on a sailing expedition to research pollution in the North Pacific Gyre, a massive vortex fueled by oceanic currents that sweep our plastic from land and out of sight, shredding and concentrating it in the middle of the ocean. As we sailed from Hawaii to Los Angeles, we collected samples of broken down plastics tragically mixed with marine life. But at night, we saw something even more alarming. Small fish that surfaced nocturnally to feed were mistaking contaminated plastic waste for food, and as these fish were consumed by larger predators the toxins were working their way up the food chain—and on to our plates.

We vowed to dedicate our lives to solving the problem, and to each other. After Marcus fashioned a ring from discarded fishing line that he pulled from the ocean, we got engaged on top of a floating garbage patch.

Marcus and I launched 5 Gyres in 2009 with the simple goal of putting plastic pollution on the international agenda. Beginning in 2010, we completed a series of scientific firsts by researching plastic in all five subtropical gyres, as well as the Great Lakes and Antarctica. In 2014, we convened eight scientists around the world to publish the first global estimate of plastic pollution in our oceans: 5.25 trillion particles weighing in at 270,000 tons of “plastic smog” worldwide. Our paper on plastic microbead pollution in the Great Lakes inspired a two-year collaborative campaign that culminated in a national ban on microbeads that’s currently being considered by Congress.

Most importantly, we created a community of activists—volunteers, ambassadors, partners and supporters—who are driving global awareness and evolution towards a planet free of plastic pollution. This passionate group of people is more powerful than the plastic economy. Together, our energy and ingenuity can change the world.” –Anna


 
 
Anna Cummins, Co-Founder & Global Strategy Director Provenance: Santa Monica, CA Anna at 5gyres.org

Anna Cummins, Co-Founder & Global Strategy Director

Provenance: Santa Monica, CA
Anna at 5gyres.org

Marcus Eriksen, Co-Founder & Research Director Provenance: Ealing, England Marcus at 5gyres.org

Marcus Eriksen, Co-Founder & Research Director

Provenance: Ealing, England
Marcus at 5gyres.org

Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, Executive Director Provenance: Los Angeles, CA Rachel at 5gyres.org

Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, Executive Director

Provenance: Los Angeles, CA
Rachel at 5gyres.org

Carolynn Box, Environmental Programs Director Provenance: Sebastopol, CA Carolynn at 5gyres.org

Carolynn Box, Environmental Programs Director

Provenance: Sebastopol, CA
Carolynn at 5gyres.org

Lia Colabello, Community & Partnerships Director Provenance: Haleiwa, HI Lia at 5gyres.org

Lia Colabello, Community & Partnerships Director

Provenance: Haleiwa, HI
Lia at 5gyres.org

Haley Jain Haggerstone, Development Director Provenance: Vancouver, Canada Haley at 5gyres.org

Haley Jain Haggerstone, Development Director

Provenance: Vancouver, Canada
Haley at 5gyres.org

Stephanie Whyte, Programs Manager Provenance: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Steph at 5gyres.org

Stephanie Whyte, Programs Manager

Provenance: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Steph at 5gyres.org

Ginger Goss Mukherjee, Operations Manager Provenance: San Gabriel, CA Ginger at 5gyres.org

Ginger Goss Mukherjee, Operations Manager

Provenance: San Gabriel, CA
Ginger at 5gyres.org


Board of Directors

Anna Cummins, Co-Founder/5 Gyres

Belinda Waymouth, Senior Writer/UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

Colette Brooks, Chief Imagination Officer/Big Imagination Group

Elan Glasser, Independent Filmmaker and Consultant/Rosenthal Winery

Jesse Nicely, Director of Creative Strategy/Cashmere Agency

Marcus Eriksen, Co-Founder and Director of Research/5 Gyres

Roger Kube, Mortgage Consultant/Guild Mortgage Company