An enormous collection of garbage weighing more than 3 tons and a size of twice the state of Texas is floating out in an isolated section of the Pacific Ocean. The garbage patch, dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is held together by a rotating system of currents known as the North Pacific Gyre. The swirling currents bring the collected debris into the relatively calm center of the North Pacific Gyre. In the past this collection of garbage biodegraded over time but with the modern addition of plastics the broken pieces. instead of biodegrading, clump together into a large mass of waster.
Image courtesy of Greenpeace
- Oceans Becoming a Garbage Patch – Video from Today Show
- The world’s rubbish dump: a garbage tip that stretches from Hawaii to Japan – The Independent
- Altered Oceans – Los Angeles Times Special Report
- Rubber Duckies and Ocean Currents – Lesson plan (PDF) from the Vancouver School District