Historic Greenpeace ship, the Arctic Sunrise, arrives in Honolulu

by Perry Wheeler

October 11, 2018

Honolulu, HI – The historic Greenpeace ship, the Arctic Sunrise, arrived in Honolulu today. The ship is docked at Brewer’s Wharf, 79 S Nimitz Hwy, which is at the intersection of S Nimitz Hwy and Nuuanu Ave, Pier 12, just west of the cruise ship terminal. The ship will be open to the public for free tours from 10am to 5pm on October 13, 14, 27 and 28.

“The Arctic Sunrise is in Hawai‘i because of the urgent threat of plastic pollution to our oceans, waterways, and communities here,” said Greenpeace Plastics Campaigner Kate Melges. “We recently traveled to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to remind corporations that rely on single-use plastic that there is no such thing as ‘throwing plastic away.’ We know that it ends up fragmented in the middle of the ocean, or washing up on the beaches in places like Hawai‘i. It’s time for the world’s largest companies to stop producing so much plastic.”

Greenpeace’s ship was in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch before traveling to Hawai‘i, collecting data on the quantity and types of microplastics found in the ocean gyre. Every water sample collected by Greenpeace in the garbage patch contained microplastic pollution, consistent with the organization’s sampling along the East and West Coasts of the U.S. over the past year. Greenpeace even found microplastic pollution in remote Antarctic waters in early 2018. The organization is gathering samples with a manta trawl net to contribute to 5 Gyres’ global estimate on marine plastic pollution.

While in Hawai‘i, Greenpeace will partner with the Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana and Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission to hold a beach cleanup and brand audit at Kaho‘olawe to help identify the corporations most responsible for branded single-use plastic pollution in the region. Hawai‘i is particularly hard hit by plastic pollution that moves across the Pacific and washes up on the islands’ shores. Greenpeace and its allies in the Break Free From Plastic movement recently held 239 beach cleanups and brand audits in 42 countries globally, identifying Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé as the worst corporate plastic polluters. The global results will be combined with those from the brand audit at Kaho’olawe to hold the worst corporations accountable.

The Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise has a rich history. The Russian government seized the ship and the 30 peaceful activists on board in 2013 when Greenpeace protested Arctic oil drilling by the Russian company Gazprom. The Arctic Sunrise was also the first ship to circumnavigate James Ross Island in the Antarctic. It has worked to stop Japanese whaling fleets’ attempts to pursue their so-called scientific whaling program, chased private vessels fishing illegally, navigated both the Congo and the Amazon, and performed independent assessment of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Most recently the Arctic Sunrise spent January and February doing research in Antarctica to build the case for establishing the world’s largest marine sanctuary in the Southern Ocean.

The Arctic Sunrise will depart at the end of the month, concluding a roughly four month transit down the West Coast, to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and to Hawai’i.

On October 17, from 9am-12pm, reporters are invited to a private press open house to talk with our experts and representatives from Surfrider Foundation, Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation, and Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii about the plastic threat in the region and to tour the historic shipThose interested should RSVP for a specific time slot with Perry Wheeler at perry.wheeler@greenpeace.org or 301-675-8766.

Photos of the ship’s arrival in Honolulu will be available here later today: https://www.media.greenpeace.org/shoot/27MZIFJWH9MQH

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Contact:

Perry Wheeler, perry.wheeler@greenpeace.org, 301.675.8766

Please reach out to Perry for any questions regarding the Greenpeace plastics campaign.

Ryan Schleeter, ryan.schleeter@greenpeace.org, 415.342.2386

Ryan will be on the ground in Hawai’i from October 16-October 29. Please reach out to Ryan to RSVP for any private tours of the ship between those dates.

Perry Wheeler

By Perry Wheeler

Perry Wheeler is a senior communications specialist at Greenpeace USA.

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