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Exponential Growth of Plastic in the North Pacific

March 05 2008 | Rise Above Plastics,
by Bill




A: 1990 Running shoes spill B: 2002 Garbage strip C: 2000 Plastic bag spill D: Shoes found E: Eastern Garbage Patch. At the eye of the gyre, plastic reaches concentrations of a million pieces per square mile. Researchers have mapped a giant spill of bags and a mile-long strip of wind-driven garbage. F: Caught in a gyre. Some of the plastic drifting in the North Pacific is swept to shore, like the thousands of Nike shoes that washed up in the Pacific Northwest. But much is trapped by calm winds and sluggish water within the North Pacific's loop of currents.

"The Pacific Garbage Patch is a heap of debris floating in the Pacific that's twice the size of Texas, according to marine biologists.

The enormous stew of trash - which consists of 80 percent plastics and weighs some 3.5 million tons, say oceanographers - floats where few people ever travel, in a no-man's land between San Francisco and Hawaii.

The patch has been growing, along with ocean debris worldwide, tenfold every decade since the 1950s, said Chris Parry, public education program manager with the California Coastal Commission in San Francisco."

Pretty much the same story but it's getting bigger by the day. Click here for the full San Francisco Chronicle article.

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