postheadericon Floating Plastic Garbage Dump

What is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? This patch is actually two of the largest garbage accumulations in the Pacific Ocean. There are two distinct areas, also called the Western Pacific Garbage Patch and the Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch. Both of these areas in the Pacific Ocean are full of garbage, millions of tons of it, and a large amount of this garbage is plastic, which will not degrade. In these two areas, there is almost no marine life except for plankton and there is an estimated 6 kilos of plastic for every kilo of natural plankton.  This plastic swirls around in a vortex of marine birds, fish and mammals who become ensnared.  Some of the plastics that make up this mass of floating debris will not break down for generations, if ever.  There is no clean up underway. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is much larger than the size of the state of Texas, and is literally a garbage dump floating in the sea.

Not all plastic floats, nearly 70 percent of discarded plastic sinks to the bottom. In the North Sea, Dutch scientists have counted around 110 pieces of litter for every square kilometre of the seabed, a staggering 600,000 tons in the North Sea alone. These plastics litter the sea bottom and kill the marine life  and plant life endemic to the region.

The issue of plastic debris on land and in our oceans needs urgent attention.  We can all help by avoiding plastics in the things we buy, choosing less packaging and by disposing of our waste responsibly.

2 Responses to “Floating Plastic Garbage Dump”

  • Kia`iokala:

    auwe!

  • Maile:

    This is so sickening! Being in Hawaii I feel that we appreciate the ocean more but when I think about other places that lives aren’t as ocean oriented I think there needs to be someway to instill some lOve for the sea so we all can stop this patch from growing :(

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