The Great Pacific Garbage Patch – an enormous swatch of trillions of pieces of plastic and trash floating somewhere between California and Hawaii – is already three times the size of France and growing fast, according to a new report published in Scientific Reports.
The study, which analyzed a total of 1.2 million plastic samples retrieved from the patch as well aerial scans, estimates that there are at the very least 79 thousand tons of plastic floating around in an area of more than 617,000 square miles – a figure that is between four and 16 times higher than previously thought.
The GPGP was first discovered in 1997 when Charles Moore, a yachtsman, sailed through the mess of plastic bottles, discarded fishing nets and other trash while on his way back home to Los Angeles. The patch was given its now infamous moniker by Curtis Ebbesmeyer, a Seattle-based oceanographer who is known for tracking ocean currents along with cargo that has fallen overboard.
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The garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean is three times the size of France
Containing 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic. #RefuseSingleUsePosted by Plastic Pollution Coalition on Tuesday, 27 March 2018