26 February 2010

The Great Pacific Garbage Dump

The largest dump in the world isn’t outside New York or London or Shanghai but in a desolate stretch of the Pacific Ocean nearly a thousand miles from the nearest island. Held together by a slowly rotating system of currents northeast of Hawaii, the Eastern Garbage Patch is more than just a few floating plastic bottles washed out to sea; the Patch is a giant mass of trash-laden water nearly double the size of Texas.

The Eastern Garbage Patch is just the most obvious manifestation of the amount of pollution filling the seas. Even though seventy percent of plastic items will eventually sink, the UNEP estimates there are 46,000 pieces of marine debris for every square mile of all the world’s oceans. Nearly four fifths of this garbage has been carried from litter on land, washed into storm drains, or floated down rivers.

The problem, of course, is plastic and its nearly complete resistance to the elements. Able to last indefinitely in seawater, plastics will continue to plague the Eastern Pacific long after new solutions have been adopted on land.

(written 2006)



  1. One one Angie. It's about time someone paid attention to this severe problem.

  2. You should see the trash I saw when I was commercial fishing out there. I didn't go that far out, only a couple of hundred miles, but I things that would make your hair curl. Dead sheep, cows, entire trees, coolers, you name it. It was disgusting. It isn't just the coast of the us that dumps, it is Japan, Russia, China, anyone country that rims the Pacific which is the largest ocean on the planet. It is GROSS.

  3. I never knew that...it sounds disgusting....

  4. Good Morning Ladies. .. Ronnie, Goddess and aslowread.

    Did you ladies realise that if you copied and pasted the white link at the bottom of the text in the blog, you wouldl be able to view the YouTube clip and see first hand how truely sad this situation is? I could not get the embedding for the video to work so I posted the link.

    Jen I am aware that you are not able to view the vids, and I wanted to include some pictures but I can not load pics to my page.. as Ive mentioned before, it hangs my system. But you have obviously seen first hand this devestation..... Commercial Fishing? I didnt know you did that at some point. Would love to know more about that when you have time. (hint hint)

    Serveral months back I was watching a documentary on the effects of the Oil Spill from "exxon valdez" on Prince William Sound, Alaska (1989)... There is still Oil on the ocean floor .. washing up to the shore line.. commercial fishing ceased as some species of fish have not returned to the area... The actual land scape is beautiful.. the damage .. ( well most of it.. is out of site)

  5. It's disgusting the way humans have treated this planet.

  6. I hope I get this link right, but my webpage is http://allthelostwords.yolasite.com/ and you can read the commercial fishing stories I wrote there. For more, you will have to wait until my book is published, hopefully later this year.

  7. OK, I checked the link and it works.

  8. Fantastic, thanks Jen. I will let you know when I have read it.. put me down for a copy of that book too!! (( a signed copy by the authoress)

  9. LOL, the way I am going to do it is the way other authors do it; they have you buy the book and send it to them with an envelope SASE, postage pre-paid, and they will sign it and return it to you in the envelope. As an author, you only get ten books from the publishers, then you have to buy them just like anyone else! I didn't know that before. As Ken Follet said it best "I can't possibly afford to pay the postage for all the books sent to me to be signed" and I agree with that, it made sense to me. But of course all my friends will get special "addresses" in them! Personalized I guess you would say, lol. But he is famous and I'm not- yet. LOL

  10. Oh, and there are five stories about fishing, in order.

  11. Meanwhile... Canadian governments wont pass any laws about plastic bottled water... why should they? They found a way to tax it for a total revenue of 300 Million a year.

    Some days.. I think its hopeless truly.

  12. * From: The Daily Telegraph
    * July 09, 2009 5:08PM

    Australian town bans bottled water

    The sleepy Southern Highlands hamlet of Bundanoon has voted to ban bottled water, just hours after the New South Wales Government announced its own H2O boycott.

    At a community meeting last night, Bundanoon locals overwhelmingly supported the Australia-first ban on commercially bottled water, already agreed to by businesses in the town.

    The voluntary ban has been triggered by concerns about the carbon footprint associated with bottling and transporting the water.

    Free water fountains will be installed in the NSW village, southwest of Sydney, to replace the bottled H2O.

    Mr Rees yesterday announced an immediate ban on all departments and agencies buying bottled water, including supplies for water coolers.

    It was the first step in a government campaign to significantly reduce the consumption of bottled water in the community, Mr Rees said.

    Australians spent about $500 million on bottled water in 2008, a 10 per cent increase on 2007.

    "It's not just the direct plastic bottle that causes the physical reality in our local environment.

    "Bear this in mind, you take a 600ml plastic bottle, 200ml of oil has gone into its production.

    "That's leaving aside the C02 that comes from transporting it around the place.''

    Bottled water has been banned in ministerial offices at Governor Macquarie Tower in Sydney's CBD since Mr Rees became premier last year.

    "When you reduce the usage of bottled water you're not just saving the environment, you're also saving your wallet at the same time.

    " We have amongst the best tap water in the world.''

  13. I was reading this and all through it, I was thinking the exact same thing as the last sentence.

    I don't drink bottled water, because what I get out of the tap is juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust fine.

  14. Common sense has died Angie. Why do we turn our backs to these problems? Its bad? BAN IT FFS! All over the world. Jesus H I swear!

    Go Bundanoon!

  15. mankind is a filthy animal .....
    only concerned with their own needs and luxuries....
    and not with the environment which actually enables them to exist...
    abuse - plain and simple