Recycling is important. Most people don't realize how much. So that is why I created this website to help inform everyone what happens when you don't recycle.
In the Pacific Ocean there is a giant mass of plastic. It is called The Plastic Island. The Plastic Island is about seven million tons of plastic, and it is about twice the size of Texas. Only one fifth of that comes from trash dumped form ships. The rest is from all the garbage that people don't recycle on a daily basis.
There are actually two giant masses of garbage; the Western and Eastern Pacific Garbage Patches. The two are connected by a 6000 mile long current called the Subtropical Convergence Zone.
This is located in one of the most remote places on Earth. It is one of the farthest places from human contact in the world.
This island is less of an island and more soup-like. There isn't an actual pile of garbage floating in the Pacific, but something much worse. There are little pieces of garbage and plastic floating around everywhere. This is why there are no satellite pictures because there is no one great big mass. There are simply bottles, cans, tires, plastic bags, and other pieces of garbage just floating around.
This presents a huge problem for marine life. I'm sure you know that plastic and other garbage has been found in the stomachs of marine animals such as sharks and whales and fish. These animals don't know what they are eating. They see something that looks like food to them, and they eat it not realizing that it's so bad for them.
When animals eat something like that, it chokes them. It can cause strangulation and it will kill that animal. It could get entangled in the garbage, effectively killing it because it can't get out so it can't find food. Also, the plastic could build up inside their stomach. Animals cannot digest plastic, so it stays there for their entire life, blocking the digestive system. Also, the plastic could eventually fill up so much that there is no room for food, and the animal thinks it's full when it is really not, leading to starvation.
Plastic can also act as a sponge, and collect toxins such as heavy metals and pollutants until it is finally eaten by a fish. Those toxins could then leak out and end up in the bloodstream and increase health risks.
This is a turtle. Her name is May West. Around her stomach is a bottle cap retainer ring. She is still alive.
This video shows Charles Moore. He discovered these patches of garbage in the ocean in 1997 while returning from Hawaii to California following a yacht race. He decided to cut through the North Pacific Gyre, where are he could see was floating garbage.