The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

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A picture of a sea turtle trapped in fishing nets
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The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) is a large island made of purely plastic. The GPGP is around 3 times as big as France and is located between Hawaii and California. Scientists estimate that by 2050 the total mass of waste in the ocean will be equal to the total mass of all fish in the ocean!

Plastic in the ocean is causing lots of problems, as many sea creatures eat this plastic, thinking it is food. One hundred thousand marine animals and 1,000,000 seabirds die every year because they have had ingested plastic. It is estimated that 44% of sea birds, as well as sea turtles, have plastic objects in or around their bellies. 1,000,000,000,000 single-use plastic bags are thrown away every year, that’s about 2 million plastic bags a minute. In 2016 it was recorded that people brought 480,000,000,000 plastic bottles, but ten years earlier in 2006 is just 300,000,000,000. All over the world, people use over half a million plastic straws every day, and the amount of bubble wrap produced every year is enough to wrap around the earth’s equator ten times!

This is a very big problem, However, Here are some ways you can help to lower plastic pollution in waterways:

  • Donating to charities that help clean up the ocean.
  • Pick up rubbish at the beach or parks.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle when you can.
  • Try and avoid buying single-use plastics.