The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is an area of floating trash in the centre of the Pacific Ocean which is carried by the ocean currents. This trash moves with the currents from North America to Japan and circles back continually.
There is very little visible trash and this makes any attempt of cleaning it extremely difficult. Much of the trash floating in the garbage patch is tiny confetti-like pieces of plastic that degrade in the sun. Many of the sea creatures living in this area and birds that frequent this region ingest these plastic bits while feeding, causing them to choke and die. In addition, the chemicals released by this plastic waste are harmful to the ocean’s creatures.
The trash is spread over a huge area, hundreds of kilometres wide and as long. It would take 67 ships at least one year to clean it. The trash that makes up the garbage patch comes from a variety of sources: passing ships, fishing nets, and debris dumped off the shores of North America as well as Asia.
This has been happening for dozens of years and it’s impossible to stop any time soon. The only way to change it is to manually clean all the trash and hope that this amount will not gather again.