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Floating Garbage Island Twice the Size of Texas Aimlessly Spins in Pacific Ocean

The largest dump in the world isn't outside New York or London or Shanghai but in a desolate stretch of the Pacific Ocean nearly a thousand miles from the nearest island. Held together by a slowly rotating system of currents northeast of Hawaii, the Eastern Garbage Patch is more than just a few floating plastic bottles washed out to sea; the Patch is a giant mass of trash-laden water nearly double the size of Texas.

Full Article:
Plague of Plastic Chokes the Seas in the LA Times

Quick Blurb:
Oceans of Garbage on Vestal Design

Picture of Floating Garbage Island Twice the Size of Texas Aimlessly Spins in Pacific Ocean
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dbuckley61 year ago

My research into this is that we are talking about microscopic particles of degraded plastic ie if you are sailing through the Eastern Patch, it would not look any different to the naked eye.

Unfortunately these particles exist in most oceans, but are particularly concentrated in this area.

I had heard only heard about this subject not that long ago during a class at my community college. To read about it here was another eye opener for me. Does anyone have any actual video, pictures, documentaries, etc. regarding this problem that we (Globally) have? Thank you.

triumphman9 years ago
SHOW ME A PROPORTIONATE PHOTO WITH A BOAT OR HUMAN BEING NEAR IT (NO CG-COMPUTER GENERATED JUNK EITHER, LIKE THEY MAKE IN THE MOVIES) and I MAY BELIEVE THE SIZE IS NOT AN EXAGERATION, IT MAY BE BIG BUT 2X THE SIZE OF TEXAS- COME ON GET REAL! SHOW US THE PICS MAYBE FROM A HELICOPTER OR SMALL PLANE- HEY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHICS CAN DO A DOCUMENTARY!!!???? I'M HAPPY TO RECYCLE MY JUNK PLASTIC & GLASS, I ALSO AM A FULL FLEDGED "DUMPSTER DIVER". SHOP-RITE RECENTLY REMODELLED THEIR MANY STORES-YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE THE COOL STUFF THEY CHUCKED IN THE LARGE LONG DUMPSTER BINS.WOW I COULD BUILD A SMALL HOUSE OR CABIN WITH IT ALL!!!CHEERS AND HAPPY DUMPSTER DIVING !!!!
Sorry. It needed to be done... -It's harder to read when everything is in caps. ;-)
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Sorry it was done in caps, better next time!
;-) xD
I am completely in awe of this in a very bad way but still it's un-bloody-believable, inconcievable and pretty surreal too. The container is pretty normal though, many containers fall off of the docks in the harbour and usually get caught up to by boats or sometimes make it all the way to the beach on the north coast, it's better than out to sea... I can't begin to imagine the sight but as an island I reckon a massive amount of plywood boards could make it walkable...
let's sprayfoam or cement it all together and build a new nation that can be a model for all others - sustainability, population policies, human rights, and quality education will be our core values! Let's take the bad and make something good out of it! eh, i'm just going to go see what's on TV.
trebuchet039 years ago
I don't deny it's there... but I sure as hell would love a photo of the actual island... Something tells me that "Island" is the wrong term - can one walk on it? I have my reservations about that. Again, given the currents etc. I don't deny there's a HUGE amount of garbage out there. I visited the Aquarium of the Pacific last week - the amount of garbage they get in their little marina after a rain (people throwing garbage down the storm drains) is just staggering :/
Yeah, it's definitely not a solid mass; or at least not usually. Mainly just a much higher concentration of floating garbage. The article mentioned that "U.N. Environment Program estimates that 46,000 pieces of plastic litter are floating on every square mile of the oceans", which works out to one piece of plastic every 24 feet or so - on average. That's pretty gross, but even if the concentration in the "Eastern Garbage Patch" were 1000 times higher, that would still "only" be 1-2 pieces of plastic every square feet, and most of those pieces will be small: bottle caps, plastic bags, etc. Not exactly a solid surface. I have heard of smaller patches where you get a thick mat of floating debris, possibly held together by discarded fishing nets etc. But if you dared to put a foot on that, you'd be likely to sink through and get entangled along with all the other sea life. Since they tend to concentrate debris, these gyres actually offer an opportunity to clean up the oceans. Unfortunately, they tend to be out international waters, and the debris is spread thin and wide enough that it would take a not insignificant amount of money to clean up...
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