Floating in the Great Pacific is an enormous patch of garbage in which is composed of 80% plastic and said to be twice the size of Texas. Also known as the "Pacific Trash Vortex", the garbage in these areas of water are so dense with debris and garbage that have been collected by the water currents of the North Pacific Gyre. Water samples taken from recent years in comparison to collected samples in the past, shows an increase in the abundance of broken down plastics in the water.
"Researchers believe this enormous trash zone accumulated over many years from trash being dumped off boats and ocean-going ships, and from trash accumulated on beaches, where it eventually washed in the Pacific Ocean and into the huge zone." ~cnn.com
Water bottles and plastics from consumer packaging rarely make it to the recycling bin and are the largest contributors to our landfills and in our waters. The pollution of plastics in the ocean not only presents eco-system and environmental concerns but also health risks as well. Larger plastics breakdown into smaller pieces in which small fish eat and as they are eaten by larger animals and fish, the toxicity concentration of the plastics multiply by the time they reach our food supply.
The Great Pacfic Garbage Patch on Good Morning America
Because of the abundance of debris, and the constant accumulation of more trash, cleaning up the waters is becoming a near impossible task. The best way to start is to prevent the further build up of pollution in our oceans. The next time you're at the beach or by a river, be mindful of the garbage left and dispose of trash properly. Save money buy investing in a re-usable water bottle!
Here are some facts about water bottles:
- Americans buy an estimated 29.8 billion plastic water bottles every year.
- Nearly eight out of every 10 bottles will end up in a landfill.
- It is estimated that the production of plastics accounts for 4 percent of the energy consumption in the U.S.
- HDPE and PET bottles showed the highest recycling rates of any plastic bottles types, at 27.1 and 23.1 percent, respectively.
- Less than 1 percent of all plastics is recycled. Therefore, almost all plastics are incinerated or end up in a landfill.
- Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60-watt light bulb for up to six hours.
It is easy to forget that minor decisions we make create a great impact on this earth that we live in and that the damage eventually cycles back to harm our health as well. The food we eat, the air we breath and the water we drink is all impacted by the environment and what we dump in it.
Support the use of renewable resources such as Bamboo, that can be re-grown, re-cycled and re-used for multiple purposes. For your next purchase, whether it's a desk from Ikea, a new computer from Apple, or even a book or CD, pay attention to how much packaging is involved in your purchase and try to recycle. Support stores and companies that make conscious decisions to be green.
It's an uphill battle, but we have to start somewhere so that future generations can enjoy this planet.