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Our oceans are a plastic soup

Updated on January 18, 2012

garbage patch plastic particles

garbage patch plastic particles
garbage patch plastic particles

Have you ever thought were your garbage or trash will end? Have you ever thought about what will happen with the trash on the street? The following is hard to believe but unfortunately true. It is sad but there is also a positive message I will give you in the conclusion.

Plastic does not disappear in water. It stays and just stays. Since a large part of the plastic products are designed to be disposable, we consume lots of plastic and consequently trash quite a lot as well. Over time a relative small amount of all this plastic ends up in the ocean. Over time this counts up to large numbers. The facts about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch are really stunning. Take for example the following two facts:

1. The size of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of the U.S state Texas. Due to the fact that the ocean has steady streams ending in a gyre (read vortex), it is a growing space of lost trash and garbage.

2. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch contains six times more plastic than plankton. Plankton is the main source of food in the ocean. Can you imagine?

Most articles only talk about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Unfortunately this is not the only garbage patch in the ocean. Our oceans contain five major gyres which have equal size of "trash islands". Besides these enormousness garbage patches, there are numerous other seas as well beaches with large amounts of trash. Another numerous amount of places have similar issues. For example, scientist discovered the same plastic soup in the Mediterranean sea. Scientist estimate a soup of 250 billion pieces of plastic.

There are many solutions that contribute to the solution. For example;

  • Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
  • Use alternative products for plastic made from plants
  • Filter water before it leaves the curb, river, etc

These examples all need one key driver: Awareness. Therefore you can contribute to the solution by simply sharing. The more people know about garbage patches in our oceans, the more and better the issue is known with public and corporate decision makers.

What do you think are good solutions to prevent the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and others? Please post your thoughts below.

Why do Garbage Islands matter?

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Garbage Patch impression


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