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.”

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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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