Trash Vortex Size of Texas



Plastic drums, polystrene, the Texas trash votex is threatening marine life


The trash vortex is an area the size of Texas in the North Pacific in which 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. About 20 percent of this is from ships and platforms, the rest from land.

Take a walk along any beach anywhere in the world and washed ashore will be many polythene plastic bags, bottles and containers, plastic drums, expanded polystyrene packing, polyurethane foam pieces, pieces of polypropylene fishing net and discarded lengths of rope. At sea and on shore under the influence of sunlight, wave action and mechanical abrasion they simply break down slowly into ever smaller particles.

A single one litre bottle could break down into enough small fragments to put one on every mile of beach in the entire world. These smaller particles are joined by the small pellets of plastic which are the form in which many new plastics are marketed and which can be lost at sea by the drum load or even a whole container load.

See a Google Earth image of this here...


View Pacific Trash Vortex in a larger map


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