The World's Biggest Landfill: The Pacific Ocean

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100 million tons of plastic is generated every year, and ten percent of it ends up in our oceans. Every square mile in this area hosts 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. The world’s biggest landfill is sadly in the Pacific Ocean. Humans have been carelessly polluting the earth’s oceans for countless years with items such as plastic bags, water bottles, foam packaging, fishing nets, rope, etc. The Pacific Trash Vortex, consisting of two garbage patches, known as the Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch and the Western Pacific Garbage Patch, is a place where slowly degrading trash, dead fish, birds and marine mammals all swirl around like a clock. They are held together by a 6,000-mile long current named the Subtropical Convergence Zone. The appeal of plastic use on land, its long lasting strength and durability, is what makes it so harmful to the ocean and the creatures who inhabit it. Plastic has been slowly dissolving and becoming part of the water. Some are calling the Pacific Ocean “Plastic Soup.” “Plastic waste floating in the North Pacific has increased 100-fold over the last 40 years. In the period 1972 to 1987, no micro plastic was found in the majority of samples taken for testing, said the paper in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters. Today, scientists estimate the swirling mass of waste known as the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (NPSG) or the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is roughly the size of Texas.” Pacific Plastic Soup. (n.d.). Retrieved on March 8th, 2014, from http://news.discovery.com/earth/oceans/pacific-ocean-plastic-increase-120509.htm. This is extremely dangerous for the organisms living in the water. The Pacific Trash Vortex is a major threat to the ecosystem and to marine life, and people need to be aware o...

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...ystem and to marine life, and people need to be aware of the situation and work to find a solution to the problem. I think that this issue is one of the most important, if not the most important, environmental issue we are facing right now. This trash has gotten out of hand. How could we allow a trash heap the size of Texas in our oceans? Since us humans created this problem, it is our duty to fix it. First, we need find a way to remove the trash from the ocean and dispose of it. Then, promote the use of biodegradable plastic and reduce the hazard of plastic to marine life. And lastly, spread awareness of this issue and let people know about it and let them know the dangers of it. This is a way to solve this issue and start progressing towards better and cleaner oceans, and a better, cleaner earth. This concludes my research essay on the Great Pacific Trash Vortex.

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