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Fun Fact January 24, 2020

24 January 2020


There is a swirl of garbage in the Pacific Ocean about twice the size of Texas. It is aptly referred to as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or GPGP. It is located halfway between Hawaii and California.  There are many interesting clean up proposals to remove this garbage without effecting ocean life. Contrary to popular descriptions as “an island of garbage,” it is more accurately “garbage soup:” water that has a high concentration of plastics, sludge and other debris.  It is estimated that 1.15 to 2.41 million tons of plastic are entering the ocean each year from rivers. More than half of this plastic is less dense than the water, meaning that it will not sink once it encounters the sea.  The stronger, more buoyant plastics last longer in the marine environment, allowing them to be transported over extended distances. They remain at the surface of the oceans as they make their way offshore, transported by converging currents and finally accumulating in the patch.  The GPGP is the largest of the five offshore plastic accumulation zones in the world’s oceans.  Recycling and trash pick up will certainly help at least reduce the size of these area of garbage soup.


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