Most of our waste today is comprised of plastic. Plastic, which is made from petroleum, is a material that the Earth cannot digest. Every bit of plastic that has ever been created still exists, except for a small amount that has been incinerated, releasing toxic chemicals.
In the ocean, plastic waste accumulates in swirling seas of debris, where plastic to sea life ratios are 6:1; where birds and mammals are dying of starvation and dehydration with bellies full of plastics; where fish are ingesting toxins at such a rate that soon they will no longer be safe to eat.
The largest of these garbage swills is known as the Pacific Gyre, or The Great Garbage Patch. It is roughly the size of Texas, containing approximately 3.5 million tons of trash. Shoes, toys, bags, pacifiers, wrappers, toothbrushes, and bottles too numerous to count are only part of what can be found in this accidental dump floating midway between Hawaii and San Francisco.
What can w do about it? First, we need to understand the size of the problem. Then, together, we need to find the solutions.