The great garbage patch

 Problem
There are now 46,000 pieces of plastic per square kilometer of the world's oceans, which is killing a million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals each year. There doesn't seem to be any ways to clean it up. Far out in the Pacific Ocean, there is an area that was known as the doldrums which is an enormous accidental monument which has formed in modern society. The Garbage Patch is not a solid mass, but a kind marine soup whose main ingredient is floating plastic debris. The plastic garbage in the ocean affects a lot of marine life such things like fishing nets, plastic bags, and many other pieces that strangles ocean life and birds. Many fish and bird swallow these tiny pieces of plastic then they choke on them and its indigestibile and will starve them. All the plastic is like a giant "soup" which is now roughly twice the size and width of Texas and in some areas it is 90 ft. thick/deep at the surface. As we already know the plastic/styrofoam will just sit there and never really "go away", it just keeps growing and growing. Any piece of plastic/styrofoam that finds its way to a river will eventually add itself to this environmentally detrimental "sludge" which is obviously known as the "Great Garbage Patch".
A shark carcass on Kamilo Beach, Hawaii; Drowning in plastic
A shark carcass on Kamilo Beach, Hawaii; Drowning in plastic
A shark carcass on Kamilo Beach, Hawaii, where plastic particles outnumber sand grains until you dig down.




Location
The Great Garbage Patch stretches for hundereds of miles across the North Pacific Ocean forming a floating junk yard on the seas. It has sometimes been described as the "trash island".
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Impact
Providing habitat for some of our planet's diverse life, the Pacific Ocean is invaluable as a natural resource. Between the 30th and 35th latitudinal parallels, human pollution has assured the altercation of eco systems on a massive scales. The prescence of the plastic in these patches is having a significant impact on wildlife. Whales, jelly-fish, seabirds, and other animals can be easily snared in the nylon nets six-pack rings in the garbage patches. Also, they are in danger of choking on things like balloons, straws, and sandwich wraps. These animals often mistake brightly colored plastic pellets for fish eggs and krill. Eating these pellets could cause genetic problems and poison their bodies. The floating trash can also aid in the spread of species of new habitats. Something could attach to a plastic bottle, grow, and move to an area where it is not naturally found. Some plastics may contain toxins and may absorb from the surrounding water. So, these toxins could then get passed up the food chain as predators and devour the consumers.

Solutions
Ultimately, more plastic recycling and wider use of biodergradable materials is the best solution for controlling these garbage patches which is an uphill battle. We need to turn off taps at the source and not to break up proper disposals of things like plastics. Opportunities for recycling have to increase and get better at reusing what we buy. Some other things to stop it could be giving up the plastic shopping bags, stop buying bottled water, don't buy plastic sandwich bags, don't buy disposable stuff, think about packaging before you buy, buy recycled stuff, and donate your stuff instead of throwing it out. There is no safte way of getting rid of plastic besides recycling it, and even then we aren't really getting rid of it. By throwing all of this plastic and what not away it really hurts our earth and the marine mammals too. Now that the recycling industry has been broughten up, there is hope that recycling will be an integral part of the solution by accelerating the clean up and using garbage in a productive way. Also, the industry coulb be an economic boon during recession times and making recycling a more efficient process. Theres many other ways to try and stop this but if everyone can try and do these certain things, it can help get rid of this massive garbage patch.



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Future Outlook
It is a problem of massive plastic proportions, a giant floating debris field, composed of bits and pieces of plastic that we need to take care of and get rid of. There is many little bits of litter, plastic, and garbage floating around everywhere and it isn't really simple to just clean it all up so quick. Collecting all of those small fragments of plastic would be very expensive. Also, from winter storms to El Nino, the Garbage Patch moves from season to season and year to year, making it hard to target effectively. Gathering up those little scraps, you also ruin the the risk of catching/killing any marine animals living in the debris, many of which are the same size of the pieces of plastic bits. Meanwhile, there needs to be more information read about the Great Garbage Patch and ocean trash in general before making a decision as whether to large-scale cleanup are warranted. When all is said and done, it is decided that it's better to leave the Patch alone, rather then bringing all those bits and pieces of plastic and litter back on land. And because garbage patches move so they can also sweep trash onto land, endangering shore animals like seals. We also don't know whether ingesting bits of polluted plastic is enough to transfer the toxins from the plastic. So, for that matter, even if we remove all of the plastic from the ocean, we wouldn't really be fixing the toxic fish problem.
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Works cited
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_did_the_Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch_affect
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/5208645/Drowning-in-plastic-The-Great-Pacific-Garbage-Patch-is-twice-the-size-of-France.html
http://aella.org/2011/01/the-beginning-of-the-end-for-disposable-plastic-the-great-pacific-garbage-patch/
http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/translating-uncle-sam/stories/what-is-the-great-pacific-ocean-garbage-patch
http://ramapolookout.blogspot.com/2011/05/destroying-our-oceans-impact-of-great.html
http://oceanmotion.org/html/impact/garbagepatch.htm
http://geography.about.com/od/globalproblemsandissues/a/trashislands.htm
http://kidfriendlyorganiclife.blogspot.com/2010/08/great-garbage-patch.html
http://www.slate.com/id/2243538/