Island of Garbage Much Larger Than We Thought

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Do you ever wonder where your trash goes? We all know about landfills and recycling centers, but there’s only so much room on land...

NOAA

The giant island of trash, which is called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is much larger than previously believed. A new analysis reveals it might actually contain sixteen times more plastic. The collection of trash, the biggest accumulation zone for ocean plastics on Earth, is floating somewhere between Hawaii and California and is now over 600,000 square miles. Where this mass was once estimated to be around the size of Texas, it is now confirmed to be at least twice that. That’s three times the size of France and the equivalent of 500 jumbo jets.

Wikimedia Commons

Incredible findings have been released revealing that the GPGP is actually something like 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic weighing 80,000 metric tons. An international team of scientists, six universities and an aerial sensor company have been working on a three year mapping effort. Using a variety of techniques, from sampling and measuring to sensor imaging, the team was surprised by the amount of large plastic objects they encountered. This changes their early assumption that most of the debris consisted of small fragments. The Pacific trash vortex was initially discovered in the late ‘80s. It’s also just one of five collections of trash in the world’s oceans.

Wikipedia

Because the GPGP is in international waters, no government has volunteered to clean the trash. This incredibly difficult job will either be up to privately funded groups like the Ocean Cleanup Foundation or the materials in the garbage dump will begin to break down to a size that could eventually be too small to collect. This would permanently damage the quality of the water and endanger marine life. Watch the video below to learn more about this unbelievable issue...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EyaTqezSzs


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