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The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

garbage island
by

Summer Van Der Wolf

on 2 June 2010

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Transcript of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch In the Pacific ocean, between California and Hawaii, there is a churning mass, a toxic soup. They call it: The Garbage Patch is located in the Great Pacific Gyre, a place where ocean currents converge, bringing organic wastes with them. These organic wastes would keep swirling in the Gyre, eventually decomposing and becoming nutrients. However, plastics do not decompose, nor do they contain nutrients. When plastics break down, they just turn into smaller plastics, known as "microplastics". Plastics and microplastics are confused for food by birds and marine animals alike. Albatross populations have lost great numbers, and many bird remains show plastics as the cause. Zooplankton eat the microplastics, confusing them for phytoplankton. Small fish eat the zooplankton and microplastics. Bigger fish eat the smaller fish. Then humans eat the larger fish, along with all of the toxins from the water and plastic. Zooplankton eat these microplastics, confusing them for phytoplankton. The only way we can fix things is buy cutting down on our usage of disposable and non-recyclable plastics, along with responsible waste management and recycling. If we do not clean up on land, then cleanups in the sea will be near pointless. "The power is yours!"
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