What is the Great Pacific garbage patch?

1 Answer
May 30, 2018

Answer:

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the name given to an area in the ocean where plastic and other garbage is accumulating.

Explanation:

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the name given to an area in the ocean where plastic and other garbage is accumulating. It is the largest of the garbage patches with fishing gear making a significant component of the trash (see here). It is thought to be 1.6 million square kilometers in size and increasing (source).

All of this garbage isn't forming an island as many people imagine. These items are constantly moving about due to ocean currents, wind, and waves.

https://marinedebris.noaa.gov/info/patch.html

Much of the debris in the ocean isn't immediately visible to the human eye from above. NOAA states that you can move through the Pacific Garbage Patch and observe very little garbage on the surface (read more here). Over time, the plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, making it more challenging to observe and collect.

You can read more about what the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is, how it effects marine life, and what is currently being done about it here.