Tsunami Debris Headed to Join “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”
Friday, March 02, 2012
Great Pacific Garbage Patch (photo: Mario Aguilera, AP/Scripps Institution of Oceanography)
Garbage will collide with garbage sometime later this year in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. As a result of the tsunami that struck Japan last year, a large mass of debris, including objects as large as televisions and refrigerators, will reach what scientists call the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. About the size of Texas, the patch in the central North Pacific Ocean consists of plastics, chemical sludge and other debris that’s collected together because of ocean currents. Scientists say some of the tsunami debris will continue on past the patch and reach the West Coast of the United States in 2013.
Environmental activists who have seen the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and are concerned about the ocean and the beings that live in it urge people to reuse plastic bags and stop using Styrofoam, which is made by Dow Chemical. The amount of plastic thrown away in the United States alone has quadrupled in the last twenty years.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch To Get Hit With Debris From Japanese Tsunami (by Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post)
Plastic Pollution in the Atlantic Ocean (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Island of Plastic Trash Twice the Size of Texas (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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