The North Pacific Gyre – The World’s Largest Garbage Dump

beach-garbage-3One of my first readings about the Gyre was from the book – The World Without Us – in the book there is a chapter entitled Polymers are forever.

“Capt. Moore of Long Beach, California learned that day in 1997, when sailing out of Honolulu, he steered his aluminum-hulled catamaran in to a part a part of the western Pacific he’d always avoided. Sometimes known as the horse latitudes, it is a Texas sized span of ocean between Hawaii and California rarely plied by sailors because of a perennial, slowly rotating high-pressure vortex of hot equitorial air that inhales wind and never gives it back. Beneath it, the water describes lazy, clockwise whorls toward a depression at the center. Captain Moore had wandered into a sump where nearly everything that blows into the water from half the Pacific Rim eventually ends up, spirling slowly toward a widening horror of industrial excretion. For a week, Moore and his crew found themselves crossing a sea the size of a small continent, covered with floating plastic debris (refuse). it was not unlike an Artic vessel pushing through chunks of brash ice, except what was bobbing was a fright of cups, bottle caps, tangles of fish netting and line, polystyrene packaging, six pack rings, ballons, filmy scraps of sandwich wrap, limp pastic bags that defied counting.”


One Response to The North Pacific Gyre – The World’s Largest Garbage Dump

  1. Jill says:

    Thanks for bringing this problem to light…

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