Did you know that by 2050, it is said that there will be more plastic in our oceans than fishes? A report by the World Economic Forum and Ellen MacArthur Foundation says that if continue on the current track we are on, the oceans are expected to contain more plastics than fish, by weight. Currently, there is an approximate 1:5 ratio for plastic to fish. According to the Washington Post, between the oceans and landfills, 70% of our plastic ends up in these two places. Currently, we are dumping the equivalent of one garbage truck's worth of plastic into the ocean every minute; that is projected to rise to four garbage trucks per minute by 2050.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a growing example of how debris and plastic is destroying our ocean. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean where trash from all over the world is collected and circulating in a giant circle, growing in size by the day. Also known as the Pacific trash vortex, the garbage patch is two collections of debris bounded by the massive North Pacific Subtropical Ocean Gyre. An ocean gyre is a large system of circular ocean currents formed by global wind patterns and forces created by Earth's rotation.
There is nothing "great" about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It is a problem that affects not only turtles, but all marine line that comes in contact with it. Turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, seals play in the trash until they become entangled, and fish mistake trash for food and become sick.
So what can we do to help? We can start by simply recycling our plastics and learning to live green. Instead of using plastic bags to put food in, use reusable containers. Buy a refillable water bottle instead of continually using plastic water bottles. When we go grocery shopping, bring our own reusable bags instead of getting plastic bags that end up in our landfills or oceans. Just these everyday changes can help make a difference for the future of our oceans.
Let us do our part and stop more plastic from entering our oceans! Together, we can make a difference and help create a sustainable future for marine organisms and the oceans that they live in!
For more information on The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, visit http://oceantoday.noaa.gov/trashtalk_garbagepatch/