What is it?
Essentially the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” or “Plastic Vortex” is one of five ocean regions on Earth that has accumulated a very concentrated and devastating amount of trash. To give a more tangible visual of its mass many experts say that the patch is twice the size of the state of Texas. Now, the image you have in your head is probably not reality due to these little bits of trash called microplastics. Microplastics are really just tiny bits of plastic broken down from larger plastic materials. They’re hard to see, but make up the majority of the garbage patch.
How did this Happen?
Three garbage patches are linked together by the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone. Think of it as the highway of ocean trash constantly moving debris from one zone to another. Meaning, your plastic water can travel a very long way to end up accumulating in the garbage patch.
Why should we care?
One reason we should care is because our careless actions are causing immeasurable harm to marine wild life. They are ingesting these micro plastics instead of necessary nutrients which causes damage to their health, and oftentimes death. Furthermore, if you consume seafood it is likely that microplastics may end up in your digestive system as well.
What can we do?
As mentioned in previous posts, we need to be more conscious about our decisions and how they affect the greater world around us. The first step in that is educating yourself, so kudos to you for reading this and becoming familiar with the situation. From here, make the necessary lifestyle changes as you see fit. Some examples are listed below!
- Avoid buying products with excess packaging
- Avoid using personal care products that have microplastics in them (can be identified by the ingredient polythylene)
- Avoid synthetic clothing fabrics
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