The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Have you read about the island of plastic debris weighing some 3 million tons and twice as large as the state of Texas floating in the ocean off the coast of Garbage California? It sounds like something from a horror movie, but it’s true. It’s called the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" by the marine researchers who have been studying it for a decade. It has collected in what is known as the North Pacific Gyre because of the clockwise trade winds that circulate along the Pacific rim and cause the debris to accumulate in this one large mass.

It’s located about 1000 miles West of California and 1000 miles North of the Hawaiian Islands. It’s 80% plastic and moves just below the surface down to a depth of 300 feet. Part of the cause is the dramatic increase of plastic which is not biodegradable. It also contains old fishing nets, tires and other garbage we have tossed into our oceans.

Unfortunately, marine researchers say it is a mass far too large and remote to ever be cleaned up. Worse, instead of biodegrading the plastic material becomes brittle and breaks into small pieces. It is a threat to marine life and the product of lack of concern for our environment.

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