The Pacific Garbage Patch
Each year, an estimated 14 billion pounds of trash are dumped into the world’s oceans. Plastic accounts for most of the waste in our water, and U.S. residents recycle very little of the recyclable plastic they use.
Such extensive oceanic pollution has many long-term implications. Marine debris affects the marine ecosystem directly, through ingestion, entanglement, and alteration of the ecosystem. Items made from plastic, such as bottles and fishing nets, are often mistaken for food by birds or fish, and they don’t go away over time. Plastic waste accounts for up to 80 percent of the total debris in the oceans and less than 5% of all plastic is recycled. The Pacific Garbage Patch mostly consists of pelagic plastics, formed from plastic bags, plastic water bottles, bottle caps and Styrofoam. Plastic does not biodegrade, the sun breaks these down into smaller and smaller pieces through photo degradation, which is why it is so difficult to judge the size of the patches. Debris ranges in size from abandoned fishing nets to micro-pellets found in abrasive cleaners.
· The size of the patch is unknown and estimated to be anywhere from 0.41% to 8.1% of the size of the Pacific Ocean. Most Scientists estimate it to be twice the size of Texas.
· 10% of the worlds annual 200 billion pounds of plastic produced winds up in the ocean.
· It is estimated that 80% of the plastic in the plastics in the garbage patch come from land-based sources (rivers and sewer systems emptying into the sea) and the other 20% is estimated to come from ship and the ocean sources (cruise ships, and fishing vessels).
· These patches also contain chemical sludge and other debris and the plastic can absorb organic pollutants from the seawater. Fish and birds eventually eat the plastic once it has broken down into small enough pieces, which humans then eat.
· An estimated 70% of this garbage sinks to the ocean floor.
· In many of the sampled areas plastic concentration was 7 times higher than that of zooplankton (algae).
· Cleanup of the patch is difficult due to the size of these patches and that the areas of high concentration are constantly shifting, along with prohibitive operating costs, and that NO NATION WILL TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for it.
Who will take responsibility? We can! Help contribute to cleaner oceans and a healthier planet.
Recently, some companies have actively integrating ocean plastic into their products or their missions. Here’s a handful of products made by companies striving to reduce waste in our oceans. Each item is infused with ethical thought and a determination to make our oceans a little cleaner.
Be part of the Solution! Click here:
The 4Ocean Bracelet: By purchasing this bracelet, you will remove one pound of trash from the ocean.
The bracelet is made from 100% Recycled Materials. The beads are made from recycled glass bottles & the cord is made from recycled plastic water bottles.