Pacific Garbage Vortex

Plastic Island, also known as Garbage Island, Toxic Island, Large Garbage Patch in the Pacific, Great Garbage Zone in the Pacific, Pacific Garbage Vortex, Island Pollution and other similar names, is an ocean area covered by marine debris in the center of the North Pacific Ocean, located between 135 ° to 155 ° W and 55 ° to 79 ° N.

It is estimated that it has a size of 1,400,000 km².  This oceanic landfill is characterized by exceptionally high concentrations of suspended plastic and other debris trapped in the currents of the Northern Pacific (formed by a vortex of ocean currents). Despite its size and density, the island of oceanic garbage is difficult to see even through satellite photographs. Nor is it possible to locate it with radars.

Like other areas where marine debris is concentrated in the world’s oceans, the eastern garbage soup has gradually formed in recent times as a result of marine pollution grouped by the action of currents. The oceanic garbage patch occupies an extensive and relatively fixed area of ​​the North Pacific Ocean, in the Northern Pacific Turn (a remote area commonly called Horse Latitudes).

The size of the affected area is unknown, although it is estimated that it ranges from 700,000 km² to more than 15 million km² (from 0.41% to 8.1% of the Pacific Ocean). The area may contain about 100 million tons of waste. It has also been suggested that the spot could be made up of two linked garbage zones.

It has been estimated that 80% of the waste comes from land areas and 20% from ocean ships. Currents carry debris from the west coast of North America to the vortex in about 5 years, and wastes from the east coast of Asia in a year or less. An international project led by Hideshige Takada of the University of Tokyo studies plastic grains from beaches around the world to predict future clues about the origin of oceanic plastics


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