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Photocredit: Jordan McRae

The Oceans provide us with the basic elements we need to survive: seafood, medicine, oxygen and jobs; Oceans also regulate the weather and form the clouds that give us fresh water. Plastic pollution destroys the oceans and injures and kills marine life. At Upcycle the Gyres Society, we work to prevent harmful plastic from reaching the oceans and to recover past and present ocean plastic resources to give people and wildlife back the use of a healthy marine environment.

UpGyres works to:

Prevent plastic waste from polluting air, land, waters, space and other planets.
Rescue the resources in waste plastic and reincorporate them into the economy.
Return a healthy environment to planet earth and its people.

The History of the Organization

Upcycle the Gyres Society (UpGyres) was registered and incorporated as a not-for profit organization on June 27, 2012 in the Province of British Columbia, Canada.

Incorporation Number S-0059980
Business Number 811094507BC0001

UpGyres was born from the news about the devastating effects of plastic pollution in the ocean and Z Day Vancouver Summit 2012 proposing that planet and people are one and exploring how to utilize the solutions of today to create a better world for tomorrow.

The Summit and the news gave birth to the idea that Cleaning Up Plastic Pollution from the Oceans will stop the painful and indifferent killing of marine life and habitats.

Since 2013, Upcycle the Gyres Society has been a driving force in banning microplastic beads from cosmetic and toiletries in Canada. On July 4, 2015, UpGyres hosted the first ever Clean Up the Oceans Concert in Vancouver and on July 30, 2015, the Canadian government announced that microbeads will be banned nationwide.

UpGyres is now taking action to stop micro-fibres from synthetic clothing from being discharged into the marine environment by intercepting and diverting washing machine lint from the sewage system. Our Stop Plastic Smog project will engage communities in working together to stop micro-plastic pollution (fibres and beads) at the source before it reaches the ocean.

The Problem and Opportunity

Marine life feels pain when they get tangled, suffocated, or have a stomach so full of plastic that it gives them an artificial sense of being full, leading eventually to starvation.

Cleanup programs, activities and organizations should be considered members in a team of physicians and physical therapists, part of a holistic treatment for a deadly wound; ten million seabirds and one million mammals and sea turtles dying from waste plastic every single year.

By donating to UpGyres, you become an integral part in practical and impactful marine plastic pollution PREVENTION and CLEAN UP solutions.

Your donation will make you one of those physicians working to stop plastic pollution from inflicting unseen, unheard and unnecessary suffering to marine life and helping the ocean recover its health.

What We Do

INFORM that plastics are too valuable to waste and do not belong in the ocean.

CREATE the technology, equipment and methodology necessary to prevent plastic pollution from reaching the oceans, and to recover plastics from the global ocean.

IMPLEMENT solutions for transforming discarded plastics into resources and revenue streams.

UpGyres Unique Role

UpGyres has developed and will continue to build a strong relationship with scientists and technology suppliers. This allows us to provide feedback on the metrics and outcomes of our initiatives.

UpGyres has attracted the attention and participation of experts in the fields of microplastic filtration, high-performance biomimetic robotics and renewable energy systems and storage for marine vehicles.

Our Mandate

Prevent and divert plastic pollution that negatively affects water quality from reaching waterways and the ocean.
Recover discarded plastic feedstock from the marine environment to convert it into resources.
Work in conjunction with Upcycle the Gyres For-Profit Community Contribution Company(ies).

Our Purposes

a. To increase awareness of plastic fields located in every Ocean on Earth.

b. To create and develop the new industry of marine plastic harvesting; for upcycling plastic deposits into high-value resources.

c. To provide zero emissions, zero fossil fuel, zero waste, zero ballast water and zero pollution vessels as floating eco-research-upcycling facilities for researching and/or developing solutions for ocean pollution.

d. To transport the extra trash/resource -that is not upcyclable at sea- to use at other locations for recycling or upcycling operations.

e. To provide services as recommended by UpGyres’ members and executives.

The Fundraising Equation and Plan

UpGyres plans to raise funding for each of its initiatives by means of a combination of individual donors, business and corporate sponsorships, in-kind services and grants.

Private philanthropy plays a particularly important role in helping us reach our goals, but we as an organization understand the need for a diversified means of revenue acquisition. We know that a plurality of funding sources will provide a widespread commitment by many to our crucial global work.

How to Give


You can also visit our website pages to:


Please Donate Now! Help our mission to stop ocean pollution.

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About | Vision/Mission | Principles | Strategy | Team | Partners | Events | Press

Thank you for your interest in UpGyres work Please contact us when:
  • You have any questions or concerns
  • You want to become a Sponsor
  • You want to become a Volunteer
Contact Us
  • José Luis Gutiérrez-García
  • Co-Founder and Project Director
  • joseluis@upgyres.org
  • (01) + 604.984.4327
  • 1.877.580.9725