The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Pacific Garbage Patch
According to one sailor, there is an ocean filled with our plastic waste that exceeds the size of the continental United States.

Described as being twice the size of the US, the ‘Great Pacific garbage patch’ was discovered by Charles Moore, an oceanographer in 1997. After sailing for day after day and seeing nothing but plastic floating on the surface, estimates of over 100 million tonnes of plastic in the seas are now emerging.

(NaturalNews) There is about 100 million tons of debris floating, drifting, and swirling in the Pacific Ocean approximately 500 miles off the coast of California, stretching past the Hawaiian Islands, and extending almost to Japan.

Translucent, it lies just below the surface of the ocean and is undetected by satellite photography. The only way it can be seen is by ships sailing through it.

Plastics as old as 50 years have been recovered from the ocean. Approximately one-fifth of the plastic soup comes from trash discarded from ships and oil platforms. The remaining four-fifths come from land. It is estimated that plastic makes up 90% of all refuse floating in the ocean and the UN Environment Programme estimated recently that each square mile of ocean water contains 46,000 pieces of floating garbage.

This plastic soup will of course break down in time and end up in the food chain. I can only imagine what effects this will and is having on us right now.
I dread to think of the amount of ocean going wildlife that has been killed by our disposal methods and our ‘advancements’.

Like a lot of other things we take for granted, the overall outcome of using new materials and technologies is not fully tested and theorised before it is let loose onto the markets for public use. Plastic was a revolution for lots of people, yet it is now becoming one of our most hated products.

The same type of thing came from asbestos. Great for buildings and ships and many other uses, yet completely hazardous to all living things.

The greatest problem is having the time to do a full scale investigation into all new products.

Asbestos must be disposed of properly.. where?
In the ground by all accounts. The seas seem to be the right place for plastics it would appear.

Either way, we are seriously damaging any future for this planet, its wildlife and ourselves.

Garnage on the Beach


8 Responses to The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

  1. secondlady says:

    It’s a pity that man is slowly destroying his marine environment by dumping garbage on the sea.

  2. Maya says:

    very disturbing and that picture is startling and depressing.

  3. Tom says:

    I saw a story about this on the Discovery Channel I believe. There is one man who is like a ba-gillionaire who by himself is trying to go into these oceanic garbage patches and with fishing and butterfly nets is trying to clean up the ocean. It was almost enough to make me want to join him. I remember this guy said that the trash doesn’t really become a problem until it reaches the size of food that plankton eat, then it will wreck havoc.

  4. Anastasia Rebelos says:

    re: The Great Pacific Garbage patch
    What if anything is being done? The more attention this story gets, the higher the chances of getting governments to take action. 1st, recycling needs a greater push worldwide. 2nd, laws + penalties must be created and enforced for dumping rubbish. 3rd, we need to start cleaning it up. Wouldn’t it be great if people + companies were rewarded for example with a tax exemption of some type for bringing in ‘x’ kilos of plastic from their sailing or hiking trips? If these kilos were then recorded and totalled on a website where we could all monitor the progress it could become an amazing ‘green’ project that schools could promote as well. It would be great if we had a website to go to to add our names too like a petition of sorts for such action. It could be global allowing each person to select their country/province/city then add their name…if enough from one city / province /country sign up then action could be taken at the level of any one of those scales. That would be great. Wanna start something?! :)Anastasia

  5. […] when I heard more and more about this horrific thing last year, I finally stopped putting it off and switched from plastic bags when doing my daily […]

  6. Joy in California says:

    I was aghast when I learned of this. I have now become very conscious of the huge amount of plastic that I use everyday, and am working hard to eliminate as much as I can. Wrapping my sandwichs in waxed paper instead of plastic wrap. Store leftovers in jars instead of plastic containers. No more ziplock plastic bags. Purchase frozen juice in the cardboard tubes instead of the plastic tubes. NO MORE PLASTIC BOTTLED WATER. If you absolutely MUST have bottled water, use the big 5 gallon refillable jug, refill your little bottles from that.
    Recycling is good, but it’s better to not even create the crap in the first place. Our ancestors got along just FINE without plastic. Let’s go back to how grandma used to keep her house.
    I’m also writing letters to all the manufacturers, letting them know that I will give buying preference to items packaged in biodegradeable packages. paper, cardboard, glass, cans. (Almost impossible to find nowadays, but if we keep hammering on them, they’ll eventually listen.) Bringing my own reuseable cloth bags to the grocery store AND to the mall. Tell everybody you know about this disaster.
    I don’t believe any of the nations will do anything about this until the mess grows so huge that it is bumping up against their beaches. We humans have done a damn good job of totally trashing the planet. We’re like a plague of locusts in a corn field.

  7. riley says:


  8. Ted Gorsline says:

    I believe that in time most of this plastic garbage will be traceable back to one man and one company.

    Its Robert Schad, the man who owned Husky Injection Moulding in Bolton Ontario. Shad created and sold the plastic injection moulding machines that pumped out fully half the plastic bottles produced in the USA and perhaps in the entire world and he did so from the 50s until just recently when he sold his company for 1$ billion dollars to Gerry Swartz of the Onex Corporation in Toronto.

    The main problem with these bottles is that the plastic bottles (and especially the biodegradable ones) disintegrate and no one knows for sure how many thousand of tons of residual toxic chemicals they have dumped on the plankton in all oceans of the world.

    I would not be suprised to learn that this one man has done more damage to the world’s environment than any other living human being who has ever lived.

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