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Plastic Island in the Pacific Ocean

Oct 23, 2015

At CS Recycling we believe the need for plastic recycling is very important as illustrated by recent articles we published in our ‘News’ section.

Plastic Packaging Recycling for Businesses – 7 July and Deposits for Glass & Plastic Bottles Ignites Debate – 11 June.

The ‘Plastic Island’ has had a lot of press coverage recently and for those who may have missed we would like to repeat some of the basic facts.

In the Pacific Ocean there is a phenomenon known as ‘The Great Pacific Garbage Patch’, ‘Floating Plastic Island’ or simply ‘Garbage Island’.

Although it sits between Japan and Hawaii the waste comes from Asia, Canada and the US.

Worldwide 100 million tonnes of plastic is produced annually, 10% of which ends up in the sea, emanating from platforms, ships or blown from land.

The Plastic Island is estimated to be close to the size of Texas twice over, which is an area equivalent to 537,160 square miles or 1,391,242 square km.

Even if there is a worldwide collective to clean this up, it would be very difficult. There are large pieces, however most of it has been battered by the sea into small pea sized pieces. Also the clean-up could potentially harm plankton and other marine life in this area.

The effect on marine mammals, fish and bird life is huge through swallowing and strangulation by nets and fishing lines.

We can collectively help reduce and slow down further expansion of this island and others like it by taking some of the following steps.

  • Pick up plastic when you see it and dispose responsibly
  • Secure plastic waste to stop it blowing away
  • Reduce your use of plastic, such as re-use shopping bags a current hot topic in England
  • Recycle as much as possible
  • Get involved in local clean- up projects for land, rivers and beaches.

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