Kw-logo-smaller

Pacific Ocean’s Plastic Island

Giant Island Made Of Garbage = Gross

Floating in the waters of the North Pacific Ocean is one lasting human legacy we can’t be proud of at all – a giant floating island of garbage.


It’s known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the Eastern Garbage Patch and the Pacific Trash Vortex. But no matter what you call it, it’s pretty disgusting.


The floating island of rubbish is a collection of marine litter in the central North Pacific estimated to be about the twice the size of the state of Texas. It’s mainly composed of plastic and other debris that have been trapped by the current of the North Pacific Gyre.


It’s huge but – so far – it’s not visible from space.


Basically, the garbage patch has formed over time as a result of ocean currents moving waste to one location. Once the garbage gets to the central North Pacific location, it doesn’t really move much (that’s the way the ocean currents work).


Some Stats

  • Twice the size of the state of Texas
  • Covers an area between 700,000 square kilometers to more than 15,000,000 square kilometers – 0.41% of the total size of the Pacific Ocean
  • Contains over 100,000,000 tons of debris
  • 80% of the garbage comes from land
  • 20% of the garbage comes from ships at sea
  • It takes about 5 years for currents to carry a piece of garbage from North America to the spot
  • It takes about 1 year for currents to carry a piece of garbage from Asia to the spot

Impact On Environment

Even though we always talk about how plastic doesn’t disintegrate in landfills, it does break down into smaller and smaller pieces when it’s floating in the ocean. However, it only breaks down in size, not content – so once plastic, always plastic.

Once the plastic pieces become small enough they can be mistaken for zooplankton and actually be ingested or eaten by aquatic organisms – which means they can enter the food chain and may end up back on your dinner plate.


Whether they ingest the tiny pieces of plastic directly or by eating another animal that has previously ingested the plastic, there are several kinds of creatures that are affected: jellyfish, sea turtles, albatross, etc.


The floating debris can also absorb organic pollutants from the seawater, which makes them even more harmful to wildlife that may ingest them.


Cleanup

In 2008, Richard Owen, a building contractor and scuba dive instructor, formed the Environmental Cleanup Coalition to address the issue of the pollution of the North Pacific. The ECC plan calls for modifying a fleet of ships to clear the area of debris and form a restoration and recycling laboratory called Gyre Island.


Related Stories:
>
>

readers voted!

Comments

James

James wrote:

Wow that is insane!!
commented: Tue Mar 08, 2011

there are 1 more comments

Please login or register to add comments

share with your friends


Twitter Facebook Myspace Digg


like this article?
Sign up now to get more just like!

latest videos

F1123095868734

Grossest Garbage? Vote

  • Grossly sticky pop bottles.
  • Week-old banana peels.
  • That thing under my brother's bed!
  • Gum that sticks to my shoe.

related stories

Micro_global-warming-micrp
People are seeing change all over the world. Arctic sea ice is melting earlier and forming later....

Random in the forums

AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Debating:
"Teh_Skittlez" wrote: "AlphaT" wrote: True, but what will these cells become? Is there any question at all that it will become anything other than a human being?     There is. There's a good chance that it'll be a miscarriage, or that there will have been a problem with DNA replication or that the cells never actually become a functional human being. If the human body can and does perform abortions on its own because it can tell there's something wrong with the fetus why can't we do it ourselves? According to a CDC study, out of ~6.6 million pregnancies, ~1.2 million resulted in fetal loss, not counting induced abortions. There were only ~4.2 million live births. So, while it is much more likely that you'll have a health, human being, there's a non-negligible chance you won't even have a baby.  If the body needs to do it, than that is the job of the body. If the body does not do it naturally, then there is usually because there is no need for it. If there is no need for it, why do it? Simple...
reply less than a minute
alexiarina123
alexiarina123 posted in Debating:
Well...yeah.....because really and truly abortion is like murduring a baby.Abortion is against life. Butet me know what are your veiws and opinions are on this
reply 2 minutes
Teh_Skittlez
Teh_Skittlez posted in Debating:
"AlphaT" wrote:True, but what will these cells become? Is there any question at all that it will become anything other than a human being?   There is. There's a good chance that it'll be a miscarriage, or that there will have been a problem with DNA replication or that the cells never actually become a functional human being. If the human body can and does perform abortions on its own because it can tell there's something wrong with the fetus why can't we do it ourselves? According to a CDC study, out of ~6.6 million pregnancies, ~1.2 million resulted in fetal loss, not counting induced abortions. There were only ~4.2 million live births. So, while it is much more likely that you'll have a health, human being, there's a non-negligible chance you won't even have a baby. 
reply 7 minutes
alexiarina123
Worms
reply 12 minutes
-Kat-
-Kat- posted in Electronics:
Iphone 5c. 
reply 15 minutes

play online games

Candy-100

A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

1515_gl_kidzworld_100x100_jpg_fz

Intriguing planets, weird and wonderful characters; challenge friends and find a...

157262_(2)

When you go back to Candyland, you’ll wonder why you ever left in the first plac...

100x100_ra_logo_girl

Uncle George has left you his farm, but unfortunately it’s in pretty bad shape. ...

_thumb_100x100

Shoot blobs with different properies to merge yellow blobs. Your blobs can be re...