There is a giant landfill in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Located in the North Pacific Sub-tropic Gyre, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a swirling oceanic wasteland that is twice the size of Texas, 100 feet tall, and home to more rubbish than any landfill on earth.
The garbage patch is divided into two separate entities, the Western and Eastern Pacific Garbage Patches. The two patches float on either side of Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean and are connected by a 6,000 mile long trash-filled current called the Subtropical Convergence Zone. These whirling vortexes of filth are composed of every sort of trash imaginable, including, but not limited to, old shoes, toxic chemicals, plastics, and last year’s skinny jeans.
This is a significant amount of trash floating on the ocean. Imagine the state of Texas. Now imagine that every cow, cowboy, and Cowboys cheerleader was suddenly teleported to another dimension and we, the citizens of Earth, decided to fill the remaining void with tons upon tons of rubbish. Now multiply that by two. Then pile 99 more of those on top of the first. Then sprinkle a little bit more on top, because we really like our trash. Now you have an idea of the sheer magnitude of trash that’s floating in the Pacific. About 10 percent of the 200 billion pounds of trash produced every year around the world ends up in the oceans. Of that 20 billion pounds, about 14 billion will eventually sink. While this may be highly detrimental to oceanic life, at least it’s out of sight. The remaining 6 billion pounds of filth floats, and most of that ends up in the Pacific or other gyres.
The worst part about this situation is that the damage is already done. Scientists have confirmed that trolling the ocean for trash would be extremely detrimental to marine life, aside from being an enormous endeavor requiring several years and global coordination of efforts. What we can do is attempt to minimize the amount of trash that even has the potential to make it to the ocean by using recyclable materials as much as possible.