Behold The Floating Continents Of Trash

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Environment, The World

See the yellow? That’s plastic refuse that has found its way into the Pacific and were pushed into the North Pacific Gyre, a place where trade winds essentially circle and trap any debris into the massive areas you see on the map. One of them is estimated to be twice the size of Texas.

From Daily Galaxy:

Sadly, marine researcher Charles Moore at the Algalita Marina Research Foundation in Long Beach says there’s no practical fix for the problem. He has been studying the massive patch for the past 10 years, and said the debris is to the point where it would be nearly impossible to extract.

“Any attempt to remove that much plastic from the oceans – it boggles the mind,” Moore said from Hawaii, where his crew is docked. “There’s just too much, and the ocean is just too big.” [...]

Since his first encounter with the gyre in 1997, Moore created the Algalita Marine Research Foundation to help study the problem. Canadian filmmaker Ian Connacher joined Moore last year to film the garbage patch for his documentary, I Am Plastic.

“The most menacing part is those little bits of plastic start looking like food for certain animals, or the filter feeders don’t have any choice, they just pick them up,” noted Connacher.

Perhaps an even bigger problem is hiding beneath the surface of the islands of garbage. Greenpeace reports that about 70 per cent of the plastic that makes it to the ocean sinks to the bottom, where it then smothers marine life on the ocean floor. Dutch scientists have found 600,000 tons of discarded plastic on the bottom of the North Sea alone.

And by the way, this ties back into our reliance on fossil fuels since plastic is made from petroleum. Yet another reason why renewable sources of energy are needed now more than ever.


This entry was posted on Monday, December 31st, 2007 and is filed under Environment, The World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Behold The Floating Continents Of Trash”

  1. Rob Says:

    Strikes me as a much more tangible cause than global warming. Sadly it also speaks to the damage we as a species can inflict upon our world.

    Good find.

  2. Jeremy Says:

    “Sadly it also speaks to the damage we as a species can inflict upon our world.”

    The damage we “can” inflict? Are species is the sole destroyer of this planet in terms of negative effect. We just plod along with our “progress” as if we are the sole progenitors of this planet, destroying every last sanctuary until one day reality will set in. We’ve been the worst thing that has happened to this planet and all the life forms it has been home to. Oh, anybody hear anything further about the South Korean oil spill a month or so ago? That just miraculously made it’s way out of the human conscience. The planet will have the last laugh and we humans don’t have a g’damn thing to complain about when it does.

  3. Jim S Says:

    Is this the same Jeremy that supports Ron Paul, the man who would eliminate the EPA and have no environmental regulations at the federal level?

  4. Jeremy Says:

    Yep! sure is. I told you. I don’t agree with everything Ron Paul stands for. But since Democrats have done nothing about this war or illegal spying on Americans I will vote Ron Paul. Just to make it clear. When I vote for you to stop the Iraq war and stop excessive violations on civil liberties then that what I expect you to do. They haven’t. So I will vote for someone that will. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t win. At least this man will do what he says he will do. Unlike the corrupt/spineless Democratic party.

  5. gyrfalcon Says:

    Okay I have one major problems with this article… All of its sources are from GREENPEACE!!!

    Greenpeace is not a good source of information.

  6. Truth Says:

    GREENPEACE!!! not a good source of INFORMATION!???…

    I’m not from GREENPEACE, and I have to say that’s a load of crap right there. You have no idea how much the members of GREENPEACE have sacrificed in their own lives to try to make the world a better place for everyone to live in… Every country has an issue at hand, or so it seems… Japanese killing whales, USA and Europe polluting environments with fossil fuels & attacking other countries for who knows what now at this point, and other types of waste… problem is everyone needs to come together, not as a country… not as a team etc… Every single country needs to put any differences aside, any turmoil, religious beliefs(however impossible it may be) and just work together to fix this planet before it kills everyone you, and I know… including ourselves.

    listen to the song by TooL – Aenima

    even if you don’t like the band, the lyrics are very how shall I say, haunting when it comes down to the facts at hand.

    and the last thing we need is someone who attacks the reputation of an organization that tries to make the world a better place… geez gyrfalcon.

    In the time it took me to type this damn reply, I could have spent minutes making the world a better place, If everyone contributed mere minutes per day to make the world a better place, we’d be in a very different boat right now, fact is… Ignorant people don’t give a crap about the future, In my somewhat hornery opinion the world is made up of 90% Ignorant worthless cusses, I wish that if we don’t survive the crisis at hand, those 90% get the worst of it, or better yet… maybe if we sacrifice those 90% to mother earth, we’ll be forgiven?(seemed like a good idea when I typed it) Do your planet a favor, pick up garbage daily, even if it’s just a piece, put it into a recycling bin, Impress a girl by displaying your sensitivities towards the planet and our future… make this world a better place.

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