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Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Area is known as the North Pacific Gyre, a swirling vortex of under-ocean currents that come together and keep the ocean water from going anywhere but there.

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  • Area is known as the North Pacific Gyre, a swirling vortex of under-ocean currents that come together and keep the ocean water from going anywhere but there.

  • Because of the vortex created by the ocean currents, the area has accumulated an astonishing amount of trash. So powerful is this phenomenon that oceanographers are saying that the area is nearly twice as large as the continental United States.


The enormous stew of trash - which consists of 80 percent plastics and weighs some 3.5 million tons, say oceanographers - floats where few people ever travel, in a no-man’s land between San Francisco and Hawaii.


80 percent of the oceans’ litter originated on land. While ships drop the occasional load of shoes or hockey gloves into the waters (sometimes on purpose and illegally), the vast majority of sea garbage begins its journey as onshore trash.


In addition to posing an environmental risk, the area is also a big concern because of health risks that it poses for humans living on land. Chemicals from the plastics can get into our water, our food, and into our systems.


All sea creatures are threatened by floating plastic from whales down to zooplankton
All sea creatures are threatened by floating plastic, from whales down to zooplankton.

  • More than a million seabirds, 100,000 marine mammals, and countless fish die in the North Pacific each year, either from mistakenly eating this junk or from being ensnared in it and drowning.


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