Great Pacific Garbage Patch

9 Stories

Pacific Garbage Patch a 'Ticking Time Bomb'

Floating mass of trash even bigger than once thought

(Newser) - The Great Pacific Garbage Patch that floats between California and Hawaii is even bigger than scientists believed—about twice the size of Texas, specifically. "We were surrounded by an endless layer of garbage," a marine biologist who works for the Ocean Cleanup, which ran a survey expedition that... More »

Amount of Plastic in Ocean: 700 Pieces per Human

Estimate taken from 24 ocean expeditions from 2007 to 2013

(Newser) - Mother Earth has reached a milestone, but not the kind anyone will want to celebrate: The plastic floating in the oceans has been estimated to the tune of 5 trillion pieces in a new study. That's 250,000 tons, or some 700 pieces per person, the Washington Post reports.... More »

99% of Ocean Plastic Is AWOL

Bad news: It's probably entering our food chain

(Newser) - Millions of tons of plastic thought to be floating around the world’s oceans have gone missing. But that's not the good news one might think. According to a new study , marine animals could be ingesting our garbage, reports the Verge . Up to 99% of the most microscopic plastic... More »

Fresh Lead in Jet Search? 122 'Potential Objects'

They were spotted via satellite Sunday, but could just be sea junk

(Newser) - The search for debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is facing a major obstacle in addition to bad weather: a sea full of garbage. The objects spotted in satellite images could be jet debris, but they could just as easily be some of the large quantities of the trash (think... More »

Sailor's Discovery: 'The Ocean Is Dead'

Yachtsman shares ominous tale

(Newser) - As far as first-person tales go, Ivan Macfadyen's story of sailing from Melbourne to San Francisco is more than a little ominous. The yachtsman's springtime voyage was broken into two legs, with a stop in Osaka in the middle; it's a trip he made 10 years ago,... More »

Even Barnacles Eating Our Plastic Trash

33% of barnacles in study had ingested a microplastic

(Newser) - Today's most unfortunate number: 267. That's the number of marine species that have been found to have eaten plastic, and a new study zeroes in on one such species— barnacles. Researchers traveled to the North Pacific Gyre (better known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch ) with a... More »

Lake Erie's Garbage Patch May Be Worst of All

Scientists find concentrations of plastic denser than those in ocean

(Newser) - Huge swaths of plastic floating in the ocean get all the attention as emblems of nasty pollution, but rival patches closer to home in Lake Erie are in some ways worse, reports the Atlantic Cities blog. A new study finds that the lake has dense patches of tiny bits of... More »

Expedition Charts 'Plasticized' Pacific

'Synthetic soup' extends far into western Pacific

(Newser) - An expedition charting the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" has been hauling out depressing amounts of plastic from the little-studied waters of the western North Pacific gyre. "We've been finding lots of micro plastics, all the size of a grain of rice or a small marble," the... More »

Plastic in Pacific Has Grown 100-Fold Since 1970s

Study takes a look at the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch'

(Newser) - Humanity has tossed a lot of plastic into the Pacific Ocean in the last 40 years. The level of small plastic pieces in the so-called "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" has increased 100-fold over that span, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography found in a new study. "We did not... More »

9 Stories