Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Screen capture of Garbage Island by VBS.TV

Quite a while ago I heard a podcast talking about this enormous gyre in the North Pacific Ocean that collects a hell of a lot of garbage and plastic. It is aptly named The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. I read several articles to follow this up, and subsequently e-mailed Google asking them why I couldn’t zoom in on the North Pacific and see this monstrous garbage patch. Surprise! I never heard back from them. Just found a link to this great conversation about why there may or may not be any visible floating garbage.

The articles I read are from Best Life Magazine and The San Francisco Chronicle. They sadly inform on the state of The Horse Latitudes, which I think is a brilliant name for a band. The discussion basically boils down to the fact that when plastic photodegrades and becomes smaller and smaller pieces of plastic (eventually nurdles) it likes to absorb the most heinous chemicals known to man. No big deal? Actually, it’s brutal. It’s getting eaten by plankton, and just about every other freakin’ creature in the ocean. They eventually get these chemicals in their bodies, and continually pass it down the line until we begin eating our own goddamn garbage. Irony is painful.

So, everything from Bisphenol A, human biochemistry, jettisoned trash from freighters, plastic bag consumption, the evils of bottled water, and much more is linked to this story.

The details are in the articles linked above, as the experts did the work, and it is fresh for the reading.

However, I found the Holy Grail of Garbage Patch research when I found this documentary series produced by Vice Magazine. They had a guy write a short article on his journey into “The Patch” in a recent issue of Vice, and as I read it, I remember wishing for more. More images, more stories, more statistics, more hope. Lo and behold, here is this guy’s face, on a series of videos online comprising a documentary that I cannot WAIT to watch. I highly recommend this, as it is a strong young approach to the issue. Yeah, you may hear profanity here or there, but this is a more reasonable response than simply going about our daily routine creating more waste.

I feel like I can go on and on about this for too long. Not just the ocean issue, but about the waste culture I am firmly situated within. Maybe another day. In the meantime, please go check out these videos called Garbage Island by Vice.

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