Plastic Garbage Patch Bigger Than Mexico Found in Pacific
ENVIRONMENT, 31 Jul 2017
Yet another floating mass of microscopic plastic has been discovered in the ocean, and it is mind-blowingly vast.
This recent video from Taiwan shows how the global ocean plastic pollution problem has become ubiquitous.
25 Jul 2017 – Water, water, everywhere—and most of it is filled with plastic.
A new discovery of a massive amount of plastic floating in the South Pacific is yet another piece of bad news in the fight against ocean plastic pollution. This patch was recently discovered by Captain Charles Moore, founder of the Algalita Research Foundation, a non-profit group dedicated to solving the issue of marine plastic pollution.
Moore, who was the first one to discover the famed North Pacific garbage patch in 1997, estimates this zone of plastic pollution could be upwards of a million square miles in size. (Read: A Whopping 91% of Plastic Isn’t Recycled.)
The team is currently processing the data and weighing the plastic so they can get a handle on exactly how much garbage they’ve discovered in this area off the coast of Chile and Peru.
The term “patch” referring to the plastic pollution in oceanic gyres can be misleading. The pieces of plastic are not necessarily floating bottles, bags, and buoys, but teeny-tiny pieces of plastic resembling confetti, making them almost impossible to clean up.
These microplastic particles may not be visible floating on the surface, but in this case, they were detected after collecting water samples on Moore’s recent six-month expedition to the remote area that had only been explored for plastic once before. (See a map of plastic in the ocean.)
On the first transect of the South Pacific gyre in 2011, Marcus Eriksen, marine plastic expert and research director at the 5 Gyres Institute, did not spot much plastic. In only six years, according to the new data collected by Moore, things have changed drastically.
Henderson Island, located in this South Pacific region, was recently crowned the most plastic-polluted island on Earth, as researchers discovered it is covered in roughly 38 million pieces of trash.
The problem of plastic pollution is becoming ubiquitous in the oceans, with 90 percent of sea birds consuming it and over eight million pounds of new plastic trash finding its way into the oceans every year.
You Might Also Like:
- A Whopping 91% of Plastic Isn’t Recycled
- A Running List of How Trump Is Changing the Environment
- How an Uninhabited Island Got the World’s Highest Density of Trash
DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.