Garbage Island Sophie Mayhugh and natalie gish

TOPIC: Garbage Island is a solid mass of garbage that floats in the ocean. When you drop plastic bottles, cups, and bags, it washes into the ocean and floats for hundreds of miles and may form into the mass. After an amount of time, it breaks down from the sunlight and saltwater into tiny little pieces. This is a significant problem because trash contaminates the waters and species living in it.

CAUSE: 1.) If you were to drop a plastic bag into a river or it was to be swept away by rain it may end up in the ocean. With littering we have caused a monstrous number of trash to end up in the ocean waters. 20% of this debris comes from oil rigs and other large costal cargo that drop trash into the water. 2.) When we drop trash into the ocean, it travels hundreds of miles to the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone or other convergence zones. At these spots, cold water merges with warm water. This creates a current that moves trash from opposite ends together. 3.) The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is surrounded by a gyre, which spins trash into a center point and in the end pushes all pieces into a solid mass.

ENVIROMENTAL IMPACT: Many species are effected by these garbage patches 1.) Because birds get their food from the ground, it is hard for them to tell what s food and what it trash sometimes. When they eat the trash they mistake for food, they could potentially die of poisoning or it gets lodged in their throat. 2.)Also, fish can die from either eating the trash, or getting stuck in it. Like birds, fish can die from poisoning or digestive blockage. 3.) Humans also are endangered by Garbage Island because we eat fish. The fish we eat are contaminated by pollutants, so when we eat them, we ingest the harmful chemicals. 4.) Most sea animals are endangered by this Island, but more specifically, seals can be wedged in pieces of trash and not be able to escape. This will result in death unless they become free.

SOLUTIONS: Scientists say that removing all the plastic in the ocean would be impossible so our best bet would be to prevent plastic ever getting into the ocean in the first place. There are laws against littering and throwing things into the ocean but these are highly ignored. 1.) But if we wanted to be serious about ending littering, we would need to inform people about the costs of it and go through with the consequences. 2.) Getting rid of the entire garbage patch would be highly unlikely, but we can decrease the possibilities of it getting bigger by volunteering to clean up beaches and to pick up trash anywhere you see it. 3.) The Ocean Cleanup is another solution that was founded by a Dutchman. It is a concept that would be like a strainer for moving water that catches trash. Lots of these throughout the ocean could eventually decrease the amount the total debris. 4.) Another solution would be to increase the amount of biodegradable plastics. With these products, even if they were to get in the ocean, they would eventually break down into natural material. In the end, it would not affect the ocean as negatively as regular plastics do. They do not carry the bad, harmful chemicals either that are so dangerous for not only the fish, but the people who eat the fish.

SOURCES

•Blomberg, Lindsey. "The Great Pacific garbage patch." E, May-June 2011, p. 8. Science in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A256365208/SCIC?u=over80203&xid=84aa0e59. Accessed 7 Apr. 2017.

•Bubar, Joe. "Waves of Trash. (Cover Story)." Scholastic News -- Edition 5/6, vol. 84, no. 20, 11 Apr. 2016, p. 4. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mih&AN=114163464&site=src_ic-live

•Evers, Jeannie, editor. "Great Pacific Garbage Patch." National Geographic, 19 Sept. 2014, www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/great-pacific-garbage-patch/. Accessed 11 Apr. 2017.

•Mclendon, Russell. "What is the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch?" Mother Nature Network, 5 Oct. 2016, www.mnn.com/earth-matters/translating-uncle-sam/stories/what-is-the-great-pacific-ocean-garbage-patch Accessed 11 Apr. 2017.

•"Great Pacific Garbage Patch." Marine Debris Project, NOAA, 10 Apr. 2017, marinedebris.noaa.gov/info/patch.html. Accessed 11 Apr. 2017.

Credits:

Created with images by dying regime - "10530020" • Kevin Krejci - "Plastic Ocean" • gerardogomez - "trash abandonment shit" • travelourplanet.com - "Plastic & Garbage! A Bunaken Beach."

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