The Cause of Trash
The trash that is discarded by human beings is difficult to dispose of properly. People tend to either throw their trash away, recycle it, or just discard it onto the ground, also known as littering. The trash that is littered into nature can often find its way into the ocean, and this creates problems like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a conglomerate of garbage in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Spanning nearly twice the size of Texas, this heaping vortex of trash is a problematic stain on the Earth, and it is a direct result of human negligence and laziness.
The trash that finds its way to the ocean is swirled slowly by the current, creating a vortex of garbage and plastic pieces. The patch is almost like a aquatic hurricane of pollution. This mass is incalculably large, due to its immeasurable depth.
Plastic is not biodegradable. This means that when the plastic breaks down, it does not dissolve or dissipate into the ocean. The constant crashing of the salty waves, mixed with the direct sunlight that it’s exposed to, the plastic breaks down into tiny splintering pieces of plastic known as Microplastics.
The microplastics are the real problem with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The cloud of microplastics in the ocean is causing species of phytoplankton to be without light. The cloud literally blocks out the sun, so the plankton are unable to photosynthesize. The deaths of this many phytoplankton could lead to a serious change in the ecosystem of the ocean, putting nearly all marine life at risk.
New Source: “Ocean Trash: 5.25 Trillion Pieces and Counting, but Big Questions Remain.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 24 Mar. 2017. Web. 27 Mar. 2017
Hoshaw, Lindsay. “Afloat in the Ocean, Expanding Islands of Trash.” New York Times. 10 Nov. 2009. Web. 06 Feb. 2017
Marks, Kathy, and Daniel Howden. “The world’s rubbish dump: a garbage tip that stretches from Hawaii to Japan.” Http://agriculturedefensecoalition.org/. N.p., 5 Feb. 2008. Web. 19 Feb. 2016.