Featured Image Credit: Matt Cramer / Algalita Marina Re, Courtesy To The Chronicle
Scientists have discovered a second garbage patch in the South Pacific that could be bigger than the state of Texas. The team measured the plastic vortex and estimated that it was one million square kilometers, that’s 1.5 times the size of the state of Texas.
The plastic does not look like you would normally think of, like a plastic cup drifting out at sea, instead the plastic is smaller than a grain of rice. One of the scientists explained how most of the plastic is broken into bits and guessed that there are millions of plastic particles per square kilometer in the garbage patch.
Due to the small size of the plastic, it is extremely difficult to clean up. A pollution researcher said that it is actually easier to prevent the micro plastics from getting in the ocean in the first place than it would be to get rid of them once they’re in the gyre. It can be best described as smog rather than an actual patch of solid waste, to give a better picture of just how difficult it is to clean.
Henderson Island is located around the same area as the newly discovered garbage patch and was covered in 38 million pieces of trash. Charles Moore, one of the volunteer researchers who came upon the heap of trash actually discovered the first garbage patch in the North Pacific back in 1997.
Moore and his team are in the works of processing the samples of plastic they collected at the colossal waste site. The more information that can be collected on the makeup of these micro plastics will help scientists find ways to prevent and get rid of the harmful material in our oceans.
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