The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is 3 times the size of France

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world. This mass of garbage is located between Hawaii and California and it’s three times bigger than France. The Ocean Cleanup Foundation have conducted the most extensive analysis ever of this area: the GPGP covers an estimated surface area of 1.6 million square kilometers.

The GPGP, also known as Pacific Trash Vortex, is like an island, floating on the ocean’s surface. It’s almost entirely made of plastic that weigh an estimated 80,000 tonnes. This is incredible! A total of 1.8 trillion plastic pieces were estimated to be floating in the patch – a plastic count that is equivalent to 250 pieces of debris for every human in the world.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is made of little pieces and bigger pieces of plastic, easier to remove. The experts fear that the deterioration of the bigger pieces into microplastics, the result of sun exposure, waves, marine life and temperature changes, will worsen the problem. Animals confuse the plastic for food, putting at risk their overall behavior, health and existence.
But there are health and economic implications for humans as well: once plastic enters the marine food web, there is a possibility that it will contaminate the human food chain.
This is something that we need to avoid.