The Great Pacific garbage patch is a whirlpool of marine debris, mostly tiny pieces of plastic, in the central North Pacific Ocean. The patch mostly consists of pelagic plastics, formed from plastic bags, plastic water bottles, bottle caps and styrofoam.
Plastic does not biodegrade, the sun breaks these down into smaller and smaller pieces through photo degradation, which is why it is so difficult to judge the size of the patches, since these pieces are not visible from satellites or planes.
Have a look at the infographic below and be flabbergasted about the amount of plastic and de debris that are found in our oceans. Many people might not realize it but it is an inconvenient truth.
What can you do?
Try to be more aware when using plastic, think a bit different and break some habits. You can always so NO to plastic.
- Drink from a glass instead using a straw to drink out of the glass. Imagine the amounts of straws used per day worldwide..
- Bring your own shopping bag when buying groceries
- Use a reusable bottle or mug for your drinks
- Cut down on frozen foods because their wrapping is mostly plastic
- Use matches instead of disposable plastic lighters
These are just some tips on how you can start reducing plastic today. Please feel free to share your tips and tricks in the comments below.
Article written by Rutger Thole who is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel, dive and write about scuba diving. Based in Amsterdam he runs bookyourdive.com and at least twice a year he plans a dive trip of the beaten track.