'Great Pacific garbage patch' far bigger than imagined, aerial survey shows



**The vast patch of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean is far worse than previously thought, with an aerial survey finding a much larger mass of fishing nets, plastic containers and other discarded items than imagined.

A reconnaissance flight taken in a modified C-130 Hercules aircraft found a vast clump of mainly plastic waste at the northern edge of what is known as the “great Pacific garbage patch”, located between Hawaii and California.

The density of rubbish was several times higher than the Ocean Cleanup, a foundation part-funded by the Dutch government to rid the oceans of plastics, expected to find even at the heart of the patch, where most of the waste is concentrated.**

The article continues at the link.


‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ is a myth, warn experts, as survey shows there is no ‘rubbish island’

There Is No Island of Trash in the Pacific: But the cause of clean oceans needed a good story.




The GPGP is one of those issues that, to me, causes the Global Warming (GW) contingency to lose all credibility. I believe we have some valid, large environmental issues that need to be addressed. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), and the world’s plastics addiction, is one of if not the biggest one. Yet very little is said about the cleanup and far less is said about curbing our reliance on plastics. I’ve been arguing this issue (the broader plastics issue and the GPGP more recently) with my environmentalist friends since the first Gulf War and every time it goes pretty much the same way. They say GW. I say go after more practical things like plastics and particulate pollution which will not only have wide-ranging benefits but will, coincidentally, impact CO2 emissions as well. They give a blank stare and then say, “But GW, you racist, sexist, science-denying world hater!”

While cleaning up the GPGP (at least as much as possible) will have a huge, beneficial effect on ocean life, going after the root problem will have much more wide-ranging positive effects, not just reducing pollution but lessening our dependency on oil, extending the life of our oil reserves and cutting funds to terrorist friendly nations. I think genuine, practical solutions need to be pursued, though; not something one would expect the GW folks to come up with, like a plastics exchange program where nations and corporations pay Al Gore tons of money so they can keep using plastics.


Didn’t know if you’d seen this article - granted spoons are a small thing but still … less plastic!



Well, I’ve sailed across the Pacific to Hawaii, so I can assure you that it’s real.

Global warming can argued be about, but this really can’t.


Yeah, yep, Gordon, you’re definitely on the right page my friend. There are certainly no shortage of mariners in the world, and there must be a certain amount here on CAF. Claiming this isn’t a real problem is like claiming the moon doesn’t exist. The only difference being that we have far less direct knowledge of the moon existing than we do of this.


That’s pretty awesome. I need to save the link and order some once they’re available. We don’t use plasticware often but sometimes don’t have a choice. 100 of those would last us at least a year.


I have friends who have caught fish with plastic in their stomachs and gills. We were at a somewhat nearby freshwater lake this past summer and the sand was full of small bits of plastic. Most people I know–environmentalists and non-environmentalists alike–don’t give a first thought, let alone a second thought to the problem of plastics. I do my best to avoid them when I can, ordering stuff in hassle free packaging, getting mp3’s instead of physical media, etc. One thing that annoyed me recently was an album that was only available as a CD. It was listed as coming in plastic free packaging so at least that was a plus. When it arrived, it was wrapped in plastic and the cardboard case had a plastic insert. It was disappointing, to say the least.


What you all could do is have the Clinton Foundation donate a surplus cruise ship and station it at the heart of the “gyre” and use its pump to suck up all that plastic … very simple.

Rename the ship … S.S. Al Gore


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