Plastic never goes away. And it’s increasingly finding its way into our oceans and onto our beaches. In the Los Angeles area alone, 10 metric tons of plastic fragments — like grocery bags, straws and soda bottles — are carried into the Pacific Ocean every day.
Today billions of pounds of plastic can be found in swirling convergences making up about 40 percent of the world’s ocean surfaces.
We're surrounded by plastic. Think about every piece you touch in a single day: grocery bags, food containers, coffee cup lids, drink bottles, straws for juice boxes — the list goes on and on. Plastic may be convenient, but its success carries a steep price.
In the first decade of this century, we made more plastic than all the plastic in history up to the year 2000. And every year, billions of pounds of plastic end up in the world’s oceans.
Most ocean pollution starts out on land and is carried by wind and rain to the sea. Once in the water, there is a near-continuous accumulation of waste. Plastic is so durable that the EPA reports “every bit of plastic ever made still exists.”
In the Garbage Patch, plastic outnumbers fish food like zooplankton six to one. The Garbage Patch is only one of five such convergence zones, which in total cover 40 percent of the ocean.
Center for Biological Diversity