Background information of the great pacific garbage patch
- The patch is located in central North Pacific Ocean
- The patch contains high relative concentration of pelagic plastic.
- Despite its enormous size and density (4 particles per cubic meter) the path is not visible from satellite.
- Also not detectable to boaters because it consists primarily of a small increase in suspended particles.
- The Great Pacific Garbage patch was predicted in 1988 by the National Oceanic and atmospheric administration (NOAA)
- The Great pacific garbage patch formed gradually as a result of marine pollution gathered by oceanic currents.
- The Gyre’s rotational patterns draws in waste material from across the nor pacific ocean(including waste from North america and japan)
- As the material get caught in the currents, wind-driven surface currents gradually move floating debris towards the center.
- Its been estimated that 80% of the garbage comes from land based sources and the other 20% from ships
- The size of the patch is unknown
- Most debris are suspended below the surface, making it impossible to detect by satellite.
- The size have been estimated up to twice the size of USA
- Estimated size range from 700,000 square kilometers to 15,000,000 square kilometers.
Effect on wildlife and humans
- Some of the Long-lasting plastic end up in the stomach of marine birds and animals.
- Approx 1/3 of the bird’s chicks die due to being fed plastic from their parents.
- On the microscopic level the debris can adsorb organic pollutants such as (PCBs, DDT, and PAH)when ingested these are mistaken by the endocrine system causing hormone disruption in the affected animals.
- Smaller fish can ingest toxic plastic which are then eaten by the larger fish.
- Many of fish are then consumed by humans which results in ingestion of toxic chemicals which can be fatal.
- Research has shown that plastic debris affects at least 267 species world wide including humans.
- On the macroscopic level the physical size of plastic kills, fish, birds, and turtles as the animals digestion can not break down the plastic.
- Macroscopic plastic makes it more difficult for animals to detect their normal food source.
Effect on humans
- As the garbage patch(bacteria/possessions) increase it will spread all over the ocean which can effect human drinking water.
- The garbage patch is getting bigger every year
- If the garbage patch increase every year some of the debris move around the ocean which can have a long term effect on toxic foods
Humans effecting the environment
- Do you know where your plastic go?
- Humans play a big role in polluting the ocean.
- Plastic are everywhere, you use plastic to package food and drinks, most of the plastic ends up in the patch.
- 8 in 10 bottles ends up in the patch
Research and clean up
- It is nearly impossible to clean all the debris in the ocean
- If possible it will be beyond the budget and kill many Marie wild life.
- The only solution is to spot dumping plastic and debris in the ocean.
- The patch is not getting any smaller but getting enormously bugger.