The Great Pacific Garbage Dump

You've heard the saying; "You are what you eat"?

Maybe you need a bit more plastic in your diet? About ten years ago a man sailing a stretch of ocean between Hawaii and the West Coast came across a massive garbage dump of swirling debris. Scientists have been studying this mass of plastic that is estimated to be the size of Texas! Much of the debris is sitting below the surface of the water, so it's hard to photograph or see in satellite images to understand the full magnitude. The visible debris of plastic water bottles, beach toys, and other man-made plastics are only part of the problem. Scientists have pulled fine nets over thousand of miles of water and it's the smaller particles of debris that they are more discerning.

Analyzing this plastic soup or goo they have found that there are six parts plastic to one part plankton! This plastic is showing up in fish, birds and other aquatic life which has a direct tie into our food system. So, while we can't always control where our garbage goes after it has been "thrown away". That plastic bag used to carry your groceries in could blow off the trash truck or that Styrofoam cup that blew out to sea while you were laying out on the beach. Every day, we each make a choice in the products we buy and the packaging they come in.

Choosing a three ring binder made from recycled cardboard and a removable cover verses the plastic one or a cardboard CD sleeves instead of a plastic jewel case. Bringing your own reusable bag to the store instead of taking a plastic or paper one. These are simple tasks that can all make a difference if we choose to change our ways.

For more information on The Great Pacific Garbage Dump or Pacific Gyre go to Great Pacific Garbage Dump Video