There’s a patch of plastic twice the size of the USA in the Pacific

As I gazed from the deck at the surface of what ought to have been a pristine ocean, I was confronted, as far as the eye could see, with the sight of plastic.

It seemed unbelievable, but I never found a clear spot. In the week it took to cross the subtropical high, no matter what time of day I looked, plastic debris was floating everywhere: bottles, bottle caps, wrappers, fragments.

Captain Charles Moore, discoverer of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a vortex of plastic particles in the central North Pacific Ocean.

Estimates of its size range widely from about the size of Texas to, according to some media reports, “twice the size of the United States”.

Monday, 3 July is Plastic Bag Free Day.

Bianca Resnikov interviewed Sun Valley Eco Watch Chairperson Karen Grey-Kilfoil about the day and her mission to get plastic bags banned in South Africa.

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and/or scroll down for quotes from it).

Plastic bags remain in the environment for up to 500 years.

Bianca Resnikov

We’re trying to, ultimately, ban the plastic bag.

Karen Grey-Kilfoil

A lot of the time we don’t actually need them [plastic bags].

Karen Grey-Kilfoil

A million plastic bags get thrown away every minute.

Karen Grey-Kilfoil

If you eat fish, you eat plastic.

Karen Grey-Kilfoil

Paper bags are a bit better. The problem is they’re using trees.

Karen Grey-Kilfoil

Plastic bags are banned in Rwanda and the Seychelles.

Karen Grey-Kilfoil

This article first appeared on 702 : There’s a patch of plastic twice the size of the USA in the Pacific


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