The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

garbage ocean.jpg

Plastics that originate on land oftentimes end up at sea

Did you know that there is a pile of garbage about the size of Texas floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Yea… I didn’t until recently. However, if you just booted up Google Earth and are trying to find it, you won’t. The reason for this lies mainly in the description: many online articles describe this phenomena as a “floating island” of garbage, others claim that it is at least “twice the size of Texas.” While these descriptors aren’t flat-out deceptive, they present a visual that is not entirely accurate. First off, the mass of garbage, which is primarily comprised of plastic, is not floating in the sense that a boat does: instead, it is suspended in the ocean much like those little exfoliating beads in bottles of boutique hand soap. This means that the garbage extends from the surface of the water all the way down to the bottom… as a suspension of plastic and other nasty things. Second, because of its three dimensional nature and the fact that it is constantly shifting location, it is difficult to ascertain how large it actually is.


A sea turtle cavorts in the open sea… along side a few plastic shopping bags

Continue reading “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch”