© 2019 by Molokai Surf.

Garbage patches in our oceans

February 5, 2018

Discovered in the 1980s, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a remote area between Hawaii and the North American mainland where a lot of our trash and junk converge into a large swath of garbage and debry. The plastic is trapped in the north pacific gyre which is a slow moving spiral in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The spiral occurs due to a high pressure of wind currents. Most of the plastic found in this part of the pacific ocean is sludge like or in a soot. It is considered the largest land fill in the world, and it's not even on land but on water. But there are also a lot of little bits of trash just beneath the surface of the water, some of which are found 10 meters deep. The size of the patch has not yet been determined, but some scholars estimate it to be the size of Texas or 270,000 square miles. The environmental consequences are grave. As a result, many animals die due to their consumption of trash and junk thinking it's some sort of plankton or food. Birds have been uncovered whose stomachs are filled with trash. The entire ecobalance has shifted to a harmful degree. 


This is not the only place where such trash islands have been discovered. There are other vertices across the world, similar to the north pacific gyre, which have accumulated debry and junk from around the world. The Indian Ocean, North Atlantic, South Pacific garbage patches, many of which have been recently discovered, also fall into this category. 


The good news is awareness campaigns have been taking place and people now are intrigued by this. Various initiatives have been made to limit trash being dumped into the ocean and many cleanup projects have been launched. It will take very large governments and institution to help reduce the problem worldwide. 

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