Ocean Flotsam

It doesn’t even sound like it should refer to something real, does it? But it IS real – very real – and out of sight may be out of mind, but it’s nowhere near Gone.

Ocean Trash Island

When a cargo ship loses a container of Nike shoes, they’ll float around the Pacific for years before landing on the shores of the Pacific Northwest. Plastic bags aren’t quite as boyant though. They’re more likely to make mayhem and kill essential marine life. There’s a literal floating island sitting out there in the middle of the Pacific, with everything from running shoes to entire sections of a ship. Have a look at the chart; click on the link below for details.

VISIT: Plastic, Trashing the Oceans


18 replies
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  1. TrinityRoy says:

    How doable is it to start using ships that were used for waling, now be put to use for gathering this large amounts of plastic? And would this than be economical for them to be recycled on land? TrinityRoy Amsterdam

  2. JT says:

    Hello, Roy. That’d be a great idea, using the whaling ships. Unfortunately, Japan is still using them to hunt and kill whales and dolphins, claiming (in english) that they are “Research” vessels, to get around the treaty against whaling.

    The area we’re talking about is massive. Imagine sweeping every part of the land from Amsterdam to include all of Poland, and down to the south of France. This is the sort of area that is being covered by the plastic. It will be a huge task… but it must be undertaken.

    Some recycling may be done there, but it’s not so wise to be smelling everything up in the area we’re trying to clean and protect, so Im guessing it’s best to simply pull it back to land, recycle what we can and cube up the rest where it can more safely be dispensed of.

    Thank you for your thoughts.

  3. JL says:

    Totally fabricated lie! There is no garbage heap in the Ocean. You people are insane and are just creating this stuff to make money! $$$$$$ Oh, yes, another example of crap science and suckers who send money to these organizations! And now you sensor it out…LOL!

  4. MV says:

    JL you are wrong, this is really happening, and now is too late to try and save the world from the changes that we are seeing now…

  5. Ziggy Smallz says:

    Never Too Late Gentlemen. All we have to do is unite and fix it. All we have to do is not only want to, but start doing it… And this is just a small problem we’re talking about here, if to consider all the crap happening in the rest of the world. I have couple of thoughts and I hope that you do as well, so we could unite and do something about it one day soon.

  6. Debra Meli Zager says:

    I live in the Pacific and I know many fishermen who have seen this water dump so I have stopped using plastic and use cloth bags. Plastic bags are made out of petroleum products thats why there’s opposition to banning them…..avarice and greed…..DMZ (Debra Meli Z the true demilitarization)

  7. Debra says:

    I say it is time we organize and clean up this mess… owners of our leading companies have a chance to regain the faith of the American people, they can clean it up, especially the petroleum companies.

  8. Michael Perkins says:

    Poor Ostrich people like JL. Why hide your head in the sand eh? Are you just so afraid you don’t want to face it?
    It is scientifically estimated that the the quantity of plastic rubbish circulating in the North Pacific gyre is as big as continental USA and about 100 million tonnes in weight.
    Hey … just think about it … where do you think all those plastic bottles that have been dumped in the ocean, yours and mine, are?
    They take 50 to 500 years to decompose and have been being ditched for over 60 years.
    The biggest issue is that as plastic breaks down into small peices it attracts all the farm chemicals that are in the ocean (google ‘dirty dozen’) at about 1000 times normal concentration. Because they look like food to fish they are eaten, get into the food chain and poison our own seafood.
    Hey … there won’t be any Japanese whale eaters soon … they’ll all be poisoned! Yo!

  9. mitchell says:

    this thing a plastic country three feet thick with a surface area bigger than mexico there is no way in the world that you could even remove a significant fraction. The best way to go instead of pressuring governments and industries to spend trillions of dollars on something that can’t be done is to pressure them to find alternatives to plastics, to eventualy stop using plastics altogether so that mother nature can begin it’s very long indigestion of the ocean flotsam. even if i am as no doubt many people visiting this sight will probably think, a sceptic, there is no point begining to clean up a mess that we are yet to stop creating.

  10. Erik from La Prairie says:

    I was expecting thousands of comments in here… But no!! Economy dictates everything, not logic nor common sense. Socialized humans have yet to worry about their trash because someone picks it up for them every week. All we have to do is bring it in a plastic (!!!) bag in front if our home. Worse part is, we already know how to avoid using most plastic. Glass is reusable, cleanable and almost completely recyclable. But we do not have to bring our glass bottle to get water, no!! We just have to buy a clean (!!!) new plastic container, empty it and throw it away. We throw away to replace instead of fixing things too. Cars, electronics, gadgets… I wonder how many iPods of the previous generations are floating in the ocean right now… Oops, It does not float!!! Well… Maybe they’re becoming the ecosystem of a small new fish breed…

  11. John Taylor says:

    Update: We are finding that the garbage patch continues to grow at an alarming rate. The north Pacific gyre is now more than twice the size of Texas and still growing. In California, the state did not pass moratorium against plastic shopping bags, but several counties are doing so anyway. We encourage you to contact your legislators and push for that. Meanwhile, contact your grocers and let them know where the bags end up, and that it bothers you. At least as importantly, retrain yourselves to bring your own bags. We CAN do this.

    In the months ahead, stay tuned for a new development. Protect The Ocean may very well be reporting in from the Garbage Patch itself, sending back video footage and lab reports.

    The oceans are in serious trouble. We cannot survive if we continue to view waters (fresh and salt) as our waste buckets and toilets. Please, be kind to this planet. It’s the only one we have!

  12. Trevor Harrison says:

    I grew up with glass bottles for almost every type of liquid food products. When plastic bottles were introduced, all my family and a lot of my friends were having difficulty with just throwing the plastic into the rubbish bin. Before long, these new plastic containers were everywhere on the side of the roads in the gutters flowing into the sea. It never made any sense to me then and it still doesn’t make any sense now for a product that it disregarded so easily only to end up in the ocean. My overall opinion is that our current generations are complacent as we were and now a situation has developed into a nightmare as it cannot be rectified. Retail dictates our world as it always will. In the meantime our oceans have become nothing more than garbage tips.

  13. tavis says:

    Does anyone know if there are one or more specific org’s trying to raise awareness, and most of all create a clean up plan for this issue?

    Its not about being a bleeding heart hippie , but we must understand that the economy cannot survive without the earth , but the earth would do much better with out the economy ( namely humanity ).

    We can’t just lets this trash float for our children to deal with.

    Any next level genius’s out there with some ideas?

    Is there video and photos and statistics anyone has links to on this issue ??

    • John Taylor says:

      Actually, yes, Tavis. We are. We’ve acquired a vessel and have planned to go out to the Gyre this summer to take water samples, measurements, get very specific about the extents of it, and to give people reasons why they should, why we MUST, clean this mess up.

      Just because some of it has photo-degraded to being too small to filter doesn’t mean we should leave the rest, which is a vast majority, out there to do the same thing.

      I got the boat, and I’m pitching in $500 a month plus my time. If you’d like to help us get safety equipment so we’re not out in the middle of the ocean without a lifeboat, etc., please use the Donate button! Thanks!

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