The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Paige Peterson & Maddie Huwe

What is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is pile of trash and debris located in the Pacific Ocean between Japan and North America. It is mainly plastic, and is about the size of Texas. It is usually called "Trash Island" or "Garbage Island" because it looks like a pile of trash in the middle of the ocean. Though Trash Island is made up of piles of garbage, most of the trash sinks to the bottom of the ocean. Trash Island weights about 3.5 million tons and is a threat to a lot of marine life and it harms the oceans environment as well.

Where the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is located

What caused the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch was caused mainly by humans from North America and Japan. When humans throw trash into the Pacific Ocean it is carried by the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone to Trash Island. This current takes trash from all areas and carries it to one place where it sits there. Trash Island stays in one place due to the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. This is a series of currents that push the trash together into one place and keep it there. Trash Island is also caused by ships. Many ships leave trash in the ocean so it piles up and is taken to Trash Island. Many fishing nets are also put into the ocean, which can catch and strangle sea life. These nets make up a lot of Trash Island and can be harmful to the marine life.

Bird trapped by soda rings

How does the Great Pacific Garbage Patch affect the environment?

Trash Island has many effects on the ocean and its marine life. Since the trash does not stay at the surface of the ocean, it affects the marine life under water. Many fish and sea turtles can be caught and strangled in the fishing nets that are on Trash Island. Many animals and fish drink and breathe the contaminated water in Trash Island. This water is deadly because it is so polluted so many of the fish die from this. Many algae and plankton species are being threatened as well. If they were to die, the animals that feed on them would be left without food. Eventually, sea life would be rare and more expensive for people. Many sea animals also mistake plastic for food, and feed it to their offspring, poisoning them.

Turtle trapped by fishing nets

What are some solutions to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is located in the middle of Japan and North America. Since it is in between them, neither Japan or America will take charge and get rid of the garbage patch. If humans were to recycle plastic and use more environment friendly products, the amount of waste on Trash Island would decrease. Many campaigns would also help to raise awareness and help people to become more informed about what happens when they litter into the ocean. More states could also make container deposit laws, which requires citizens to recycle their garbage. Another way to decrease garbage on Trash Island, would be to send machines in to pick up some garbage. This would be difficult and time consuming and could harm marine life as well. The best way to eliminate Trash Island, would be to stop littering and to recycle. We also can use more biodegradable resources that are less harmful too the environment.

Work Cited

"Great Pacfic Garbage Patch." National Ocean Service, oceanservice.noaa.gov/podcast/june14/mw126-garbagepatch.html.

"The Great Pacific Garabe Patch and Other Pollution Issues." GarbagePatch.net, garbagepatch.net/greatpacificoceangarbagepatchfacts/.

"The Great Pacific Garbage Patch." National Geographic, www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/great-pacific-garbage-patch/.

"Great Pacific Garbage Patch." NOAA, marinedebris.noaa.gov/info/patch.html.

"Midway Atoll: Paradise in the Garbage Patch." ThoughtCo., www.thoughtco.com/overview-of-the-midway-atoll-1181974.

Created By
Maddie Huwe Paige Peterson
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