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The Garbage Patch in the Great Pacific

The last time you made a purchase, whether furniture from Ikea, an Ipod from Apple, or even snacks from your local grocery store, did you notice how much packaging went into the product? 

The problem is that less than 5% of plastics make it to the recycling bin and an abundance of it has made it into our oceans where it's affecting marine life and possibly even the food we eat. 

In the waters of the great pacific, there's a growing problem of a massive garbage patch, said to be twice the size of the state of Texas.  This patch, also known as the "Pacific Trash Vortex" contains a dense concentration of garbage which constitute of 80% plastic which have been trapped by the curents of the North Pacific Gyre.  Water collection samples over the years from this patch, have shown a growing rate of the presence of platics. 

In addition to the vortex, beaches and water banks all over are being devastated by trash and debris, that not only pose a collosal environmental and ecosystem threat, but also problems to the food we consume as well.  The plastics that end up in the ocean, slowly break down into smaller pieces in which birds and small fish eat, going up in the food chain as bigger animals eat the little fish, the concentration of toxic plastics increase which then ends up in our food supply as well.

"Researchers believe this enormous trash zone accumulated over many years from trash being dumped off boats and ocean-going ships, and from trash accumulated on beaches, where it eventually washed in the Pacific Ocean and into the huge zone." ~cnn.com

Video on The Great Pacific Garbage Patch on Good Morning America

How You Can Help

Everyone knows about a recycling, but the key point is to make a conscious effort in doing so.  The next time you're unwrapping a package, pay attention to if that clear plastic or paper divider is ending up in the trash can or in the recycle bin.  For your next trip to the beach or river, be mindful of the mess you leave and clean up.  Much of the garbage that ends up in the oceans first comes from the beaches and boats. 

Purchase items that don't contain so much plastic, and invest in a re-usable water bottle, that will not only save you money but also save another bottle from ending up in our oceans or a landfill. 

Support the use of renewable resources that can be recycled and used for multiple purposes, like bamboo.  Mindful changes have to be made in our everyday decision making in order to ensure that this planet is still here and healthy for future generations. 

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