Plastic is a very useful material both durable and convenient, but these two qualities also lead to pollution on land and in the ocean. Did you know that 10% of the 100 million metric tons of plastic produced each year ends up in the sea?
Plastic bags, bottles and containers, packing, traffic cones, vehicle tires and toothbrushes all wind up on the shores of islands and in the trash vortex in the Northern Pacific Ocean. What’s more, scientists recently discovered a similar garbage patch in the Atlantic Ocean.
“The trash vortex is an area the size of Texas,” says the Greenpeace website, “an estimated six kilos of plastic for every kilo of natural plankton, along with other slow degrading garbage — swirls slowly around like a clock, choked with dead fish, marine mammals, and birds who get snared.” What’s more, scientists recently discovered a similar garbage patch in the Atlantic Ocean.
Many of the plastics inside the vortex will not break down for many generations because they were not recycled properly. Explore the route the trash makes from the ocean currents and learn more about the damage to the ocean’s ecosystem below and don’t miss our behind the scenes pictures from our trip to see researchers looking at the Atlantic Garbage Patch.