The Great Pacific Garbage Patch contains 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic
What happens to fishing gears that get lost at sea and other plastic debris that swirl in the Pacific Ocean? Some sink, others stay on surface, enter the oceanic gyres and form a massive floating island that is “now three times the size of France,” according to international team of scientists affiliated with The Netherlands-based Ocean Cleanup Foundation.
After a three-year mapping work, the international team of scientists found that 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic weighing 80,000 metric tons are currently afloat in an area known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, posing threat to marine life. Located halfway between Hawaii and California, the garbage mass was first discovered in 1997. The new analysis reveals that garbage accumulation, floating inside an area of 1.6 million km, is 16 times more than previously estimated. And it is rapidly getting worse, increasing exponentially and at a faster rate than in surrounding waters.