Giant garbage patch floating in Pacific

Oct 22, 2007

An enormous island of trash twice the size of Texas is floating in the Pacific Ocean somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii.

Chris Parry with the California Coastal Commission in San Francisco said the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch, has been growing a brisk rate since the 1950s, The San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday.

The trash stew is 80 percent plastic and weighs more than 3.5 million tons.

"At this point, cleaning it up isn't an option," Parry said. "It's just going to get bigger as our reliance on plastics continues."

Parry said using canvas bags to cart groceries instead of using plastic bags is a good first step to reducing reliance on plastics, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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User comments : 23

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JMB
3.3 / 5 (4) Oct 22, 2007
saucerfreak2012
3.2 / 5 (6) Oct 23, 2007
Any pictures?... pretty amazing it stays put. The sun hasn't degraded the plastic in all that time? I guess the polymer fairies are still hard at work.

Sorry, not buying it. Let's see more supporting data. If this was for real enviro activists would've long since blown the whistle...

Let's get all thet plastic and convert it back into petroleum so we can afford to heat our homes and drive our vehicles again!
Elenneth
3.6 / 5 (5) Oct 24, 2007
Somewhere? If it's really that big, you'd think they'd be able to see it pretty easily. How could you miss something "twice the size of Texas?"

I am definately dubious.
Elenneth
3.5 / 5 (4) Oct 24, 2007
I have to admit that (at least to me) the description of garbage as an "enormous island of trash" doesn't really lend itself to much else but envisioning it as just that--a solid island of trash.

Perhaps they need to elaborate on it a little more, otherwise it sure sounds a bit strange.
none
3 / 5 (4) Oct 26, 2007
There is no way a garbage heap of 622,000 sq miles is just floating around in the ocean this story is complete bs id like to talk to the scientist that thought we were stupid enough to believe this!!!
vlam67
1.2 / 5 (5) Oct 26, 2007
Cheers to the retards who adopted sea-dumping of garbage and those users of this service who are now outraged by the incomprehensible mess they created!
ha ha, GIGO = Garbage In, Garbage Out!
whatastupidarticle
3.7 / 5 (7) Oct 26, 2007
Why is this article on a 'science' site? It consists of four sentences, two of which are quotes. Who was this reporter, a fourth grader? Or is that the intended audience? There's no science here at all, no research, no background, no explanation, no independent verification of anything. If you spread 3.5 million tons over an area twice the size of Texas, you get 6 lbs every 1000 square yards. That can NOT be a solid mass of anything. (for the numerically challenged: 3M tons/.5M sq mi = 6 tons/sq mi = 18000 lbs/3M sq yds = 6/1000.)
skyahn83
4.3 / 5 (3) Oct 26, 2007
checkout this article for more information on it:
http://www.latime...ll.story
skyahn83
4 / 5 (3) Oct 26, 2007
Also, its not the trash that is twice the size of Texas. The gyre where all of the trash is located is twice the size of Texas. But a giant island of trash sure does make one hell of a catchy title.
holoman
1.8 / 5 (5) Oct 28, 2007
Al Gore

Wants to take credit for the garbage patch.



crabby
1.3 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2007
Al Gore created this? Wow! Wish he'd stop flying around in his Gulf Stream jet and causing carbon pollution and throwing trash out his window!
eddie
2 / 5 (3) Nov 21, 2007
Denra
4.7 / 5 (3) Apr 11, 2008
I too was skeptical. Why has this not been more in the mainstream media?

So I did a search with google maps, starting in California, and moving towards Hawaii, with satellite image view, at closest possible magnification. I found it, right where they said it would be. My coordinates for the trash "island" for google maps are 33.394759,-124.969482 plug these in and you can see it...looks more like a mass of floating trash than a real island, and appears to be about 2 or 3 miles in diameter, not the "2 times the size of Texas", but still very worrisome. It's really not surprising since it is a known occurence that cruise ships and container ships regularly dump their trash and sewage in the open ocean.

I agree there needs to an effort made to clean this up.
fingers
1.5 / 5 (2) Apr 23, 2008
It may be hard to believe, as DLG and CodeRancher suggest, BUT it is all true.
Remember, people used to believe the earth was flat. This is a serious problem with the ecological health of the Pacific ocean and needs to be taken seriously. Check out the LA Times from July 2006 for a comprehensive look at the problem. This is not propoganda to get us to stop using plastic: this is a VERY serious problem that is a direct result of our shameful conspicuous consumption of products that are detrimental to our environment. Unfortunately, we are being held "over a barrel"- of oil, that is.
And if you don't believe that, just go and try to purchase anything that isn't packaged in plastic.
So the next time you complain about high gas prices or global warming remember: everytime you
waste petroleum or a petroleum based product (like: throwing a plastic garbage bag away instead of recycling it) you are only contributing to higher gasoline prices and the degradation of our enviroment. Mother nature is not happy, and she's letting us know in the only way she knows how.
Kris100
1 / 5 (1) Jul 11, 2008
To the skeptics who reject this scientific data
1. check out the videos on youtube. search garbage patch pacific ocean
2. The reason the garbage is concentrated in one area is due to the ocean currents that draw all the plastics and keep them in this huge circulating gyre.
3. You can see videos online for "evidence," but it is difficult to see satelite images due to the size of the garbage that floats just beneath the surface... if you watch the video you will understand. It is difficult to see from a distance and much of the plastic has been broken down to small pieces and looks like plankton which is a concern for the sea life.
4. To those who are skeptic because they have not seen this mentioned in the mainstream media, I have seen it mentioned on the Colbert Report.
Kris100
1 / 5 (1) Jul 11, 2008
To the skeptics who reject this scientific data
1. check out the videos on youtube. search garbage patch pacific ocean
2. The reason the garbage is concentrated in one area is due to the ocean currents that draw all the plastics and keep them in this huge circulating gyre.
3. You can see videos online for "evidence," but it is difficult to see satelite images due to the size of the garbage that floats just beneath the surface... if you watch the video you will understand. It is difficult to see from a distance and much of the plastic has been broken down to small pieces and looks like plankton which is a concern for the sea life.
4. To those who are skeptic because they have not seen this mentioned in the mainstream media, I have seen it mentioned on the Colbert Report.
elsketcho
1 / 5 (1) Sep 08, 2008
and to all you skeptics, beware of what the plastic particles, in the process of breaking down into a complex and nasty toxic soup are going to do to you, your children and your children's... you get it. This soup is entering the food chain and is being concentrated in the larger sea creatures that humans consume in vast quantities. If humanity doesn't destroy all viable fish stocks in the next 50 years, then what an interesting blend of cancers and mutations this little patch of plastic happiness is going to create. Happy fish dinner, and heads back in the sand before bed time.
Anie
1 / 5 (1) Nov 18, 2008
I can't believe some people actually dispute the existance of this phenomenon. Because of the spinning of the earth and the rising and falling of air heated at the equator, there are no currents in the gyres. This means that the plastic gets trapped in the gyres, isn't mixed into the water collumn and doesn't biodegrade. Sunlight breaks up plastics, but that just makes them smaller pieces of plastic- which is even more dangerous, because it effects the food chain at such a lower level.
rshell
1 / 5 (1) Dec 30, 2008
I don't think the Co-ordinance is correct for the floating garbage that is hardly the size of RI.A self made millionaire spends his time and efforts in collecting data from this cesspool. Everything he collect he takes to a lab. They are working on Analyzing all material collected. I saw this on dicovery channel the other night.
entropy1
not rated yet Jan 25, 2009
No one can dispute that millions of tons of toxic garbage are collecting in our oceans, or that ocean currents concentrate that garbage in these gyres. But when people hear the (misleading) description of a giant garbage patch floating in the sea, of course we have a pre-conceived mental image of what this should look like. But the garbage floats beneath the surface, sinks to the bottom, or consists of degraded, broken-down bits of plastic - still just as toxic, no matter how microscopic the pieces become. These small pieces float throughout the depths of the sea, and are ingested up and down the food chain. How much plastic garbage do you think the average human consumes and then tosses into the trash in just one day? Most people never think about where all this garbage ends up; it's all unconscious, out of sight, out of mind. Just like the floating garbage in the sea.
entropy1
not rated yet Jan 25, 2009
Oh, and reportedly the Eastern Garbage Patch gyre (northeast of Hawaii) contains an estimated 5 kilos of plastic per square kilometer. Because of the nature of the plastic garbage - small, broken down pieces rather than, say, large bottles - clean up is nearly impossible.
pedromiguel
not rated yet Apr 24, 2009
This link has a good video on it.

http://hubpages.c...e-Patch-
pedromiguel
not rated yet Apr 24, 2009
This link has a good video on it.

http://hubpages.c...e-Patch-

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