Tuesday, March 27, 2012

North Pacific Garbage Patch

Plastic. The ideal material to conveniently case daily used consumer goods. Yet truth be told, it is undesired by habitat and animals. Many of us find that plastic can be recycled, however not all of plastic-containing items are 100% recyclable. Since recycling isn't a foolproof solution to properly disposing of plastic material, we have other ways of curtailing this problem--landfills, incineration, && have you heard of the North Pacific giant-heap-the-size-of-texas-trash?

When I first heard of this disgusting trash pile in my biology class, I just thought LUDICROUS. I mean, seriously! Why, why why? When did we come to the ocean as a means of garbage disposal?
The main thing to consider here is that this patch of trash doesn't float off all across seawaters--it just stays there within the gyre. Gyres are located within major ocean systems such as Pacific and Atlantic. Within these gyres, the water circulates in a circular motion created by winds and other complicated forces that basically create a slow-moving vortex. Thus, plastics & other wastes are placed here. As a result, marine animals are harmed by this. They cannot digest the plastic, and over time, the plastic breaks down into fragments so that animals are able to ingest the small pieces. This is very harmful in that plastics are able to absorb chemicals and pollutants which then enter into the animal. Learn More HERE

(image via GREENPEACE)