Race For Water Odyssey

Did you know that 250 million tons of plastic are produced every year? And that more than 10% of it ends up in the oceans? What’s the result of that? The plastic garbage soup: the plastic is transported by the currents and starts piling up forming huge zones with high density of trash in the middle of the oceans. Some of them can reach the size of the state of Minas Gerais and scientists speculate it could grow even bigger.

race1© Race for Water 2015 / Peter Charaf

The Possible Solution

Race For Water Odyssey (R4WO) is a Swiss project aiming at raising awareness about plastic devastation in the oceans and making things change!

R4WO’s team is sailing around the world from Monaco to Rio de Janeiro, stopping by Singapore, New York, Valparaiso, amongst others, in less than 300 days. Doing so, they are mapping and measuring the plastic garbage with a new drone provided by ETH. Also, the team is examining water and beaches that are impacted. The aim is to help understanding the environmental consequences and try to find solutions for garbage collection and recycling. Moreover, the report will help implementing international regulations against marine pollution.


Facts about the plastic pollution situation:

  • 5 vortexes of plastic waste
  • 80% of the oceanic pollution is due to plastic
  • More than 3.5 billion people depend on oceans for sustenance
  • 1 million birds are killed each year



The Activities in Rio de Janeiro


Their last stop, before going back to Europe, will be Rio de Janeiro. They will anchor in Marina da Glória on the 4th of November, 2015.

swissnex Brazil will receive them making waves and ensuring they will be in the center of carioca’s attention.

We will use the landing of the boat as a kick-off for our “Month of Trash”. Our objective is to bring people together from different fields around this burning question and help them to learn how to get involved. 2015 is a green year for swissnex Brazil – we direct all of our projects towards sustainability and we want to make things change!


Our Plan


  1. We will host a scientific conference with Swiss and Brazilian researchers in the field.
  2. A powerful exhibition of info graphics and pictures is planned to last during the whole month and we want it to be a melting pot for all the people familiar with, close to, or simply curious about the topic.
  3. We will offer a movie night on the topic at swissnex depending.
  4. We want you to be part of the project, as we want to make it an open-source platform of projects!


So, if you find the project as exciting as we do and you would like to collaborate, please send us an email to: sebastian@nullswissnexbrazil.org. We will be happy to see how to include you or your project into this amazing adventure!


race2© Race for Water 2015 / Peter Charaf