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They are not on the maps, but in our oceans there are five floating plastic islands that threaten to eradicate much of the marine life and contribute to climate change. Some of these garbage patches — such as the North Pacific one — are equivalent in size to France, Spain and Germany put together.
The plastic continent floating in the Pacific Lying between California and Hawaii, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is three times the size of France and is the world’s biggest ocean waste repository, with 1.8 billion pieces of floating plastic which kill thousands of marine animals each year.
Pacific Ocean currents have created three “islands” of debris.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean. … The patch is actually comprised of the Western Garbage Patch, located near Japan, and the Eastern Garbage Patch, located between the U.S. states of Hawaii and California.
I’m sure you get this question a lot: we know marine debris in the ocean is a bad thing … so why don’t we just clean it up? Especially if most of the trash is contained in ‘garbage patch’ areas because of the way the debris naturally accumulates because of ocean currents.
In fact, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch was barely visible, since it comprised mostly micro-garbage. It can’t be scanned by satellites, or scoped out on Google Earth. You could be sailing right through the gyre, as many have observed, and never notice that you’re in the middle of a death-shaped noxious vortex.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world and is located between Hawaii and California. Scientists of The Ocean Cleanup have conducted the most extensive analysis ever of this area.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the world’s largest collection of floating trash—and the most famous. It lies between Hawaii and California and is often described as “larger than Texas,” even though it contains not a square foot of surface on which to stand. It cannot be seen from space, as is often claimed.
Can you walk on The Great Pacific Garbage Patch? No, you cannot. Most of the debris floats below the surface and cannot be seen from a boat. It’s possible to sail or swim through parts of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and not see a single piece of plastic.
When the Environmental Protection Agency released its plan earlier this month for addressing marine litter, it named five Asian nations—China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam—as responsible for more than half of the plastic waste flowing into the oceans every year.
Only about 30% of New York City’s waste turns into energy. The rest ends up in harmful methane-producing landfills as far away as South Carolina and Ohio. And it takes a significant investment to move it. Every year, exporting trash costs the city about $400 million.
1) Stop using plastic—or reduce it in every aspect of your life. No plastic water bottles, no plastic bags (always use paper when possible) no plastic packaging, just say no—to plastic. 2) Stop eating ocean harvested fish—yep, the majority of TGPGP, about 705,000 tons, comes from lost, broken or discarded fishing nets.
There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste estimated to be in our oceans. 269,000 tons float, 4 billion microfibers per km² dwell below the surface. 70% of our debris sinks into the ocean’s ecosystem, 15% floats, and 15% lands on our beaches. In terms of plastic, 8.3 million tons are discarded in the sea yearly.
Myth #1: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch can be seen from space. Despite its name indicating otherwise, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch isn’t one giant mass of trash, nor is it a floating island. Barely 1 percent of marine plastics are found floating at or near the ocean surface.
But specifically, scientists say, the bulk of the garbage patch trash comes from China and other Asian countries. This shouldn’t be a surprise: Overall, worldwide, most of the plastic trash in the ocean comes from Asia.