Scientists have discovered a huge floating garbage patch the size of Mexico in the Pacific Ocean.
The debris is made up of man made plastics and materials that won’t biodegrade. It has collected and formed this temporary garbage island.
This new patch is similar to the famous “Great Pacific garbage patch” which is located in between the coast of the U.S and Hawaii.
It was oceanographer Charles Moore and his team who made the discovery, during their recent six month expedition of the Pacific.
The garbage patch had previously been thought to have existed, but this is the first time it has been formally identified.
ResearchGate reported, Moore said:
“We discovered tremendous quantities of plastic. My initial impression is that our samples compared to what we were seeing in the North Pacific in 2007, so it’s about ten years behind.”
After being surveyed, it is though the garbage is made up of a staggering amount of plastic particles the size of grains of rice, with around a million parts per square kilometer, but it does also include larger items the size of bottle caps.
Giant garbage patches such as these are thought to be the product of oceanic systems called gyres, that work as a giant kind of whirlpool, slowly collecting plastic and other debris from rivers, docks, harbors and the ocean itself.
They are swept around in a circular motion which brings all the garbage together.
The oceans are so polluted and patches such as this one pose a real threat to sea life.
Many animals get caught up in plastic debris and sadly, a lot of them don’t manage to struggle free.
This amount of plastic in the ocean is doing serious damage to the eco systems and infrastructure of the oceans as we know them.