The Global Scene
Since 1987 the International Coastal Clean-up has made its mark for the past 2 decades. The data that they have gathered has shown an alarming increase of plastic disposable items that constitutes trash that has been lingering the Great Garbage Pacific Patch. The common cause of why trash has reached our oceans are not due to waste being discarded from ship or in wrecks in fact 80% of the waste that reaches our oceans comes from land due to improper disposal or dumping.
Here are a few items found in the Great Garbage Patch:
32% are cigarette butts
9% are plastic wrappers
8% are composed of plastic caps and lids
6% comes from disposable plates, spoons, forks, knives and cups
6% are from plastic bottles
Is it really a need to clean it up?
The pollution caused by plastics poses health issues to us human and contaminates the environment. Plastic could hoard bacteria that could kill marine life and humans as well. It is well documented that cholera lingers into the Great Pacific Patch.
Birds such as albatross and sea birds are confused when they see plastic nurdles or micro-plastics. They think that this is food thus filling their bellies with plastic waste. Usually these birds die from malnutrition cause the plastic that they ate gives the false pretense that they have satiated their hunger.
Plastic bottles and bag are visibly seen floating in the water. Other species may think that they are jellyfishes and cuttlefish. Common victims of this misconception are turtles and whales that mistake them for food. Ropes and fishing lines from ship trap and entangle wildlife killing them in the process.
With most plastics that goes through the process of photo degradation, wherein plastics are cut down into smaller pieces are called nurdles or micro-plastics. Since the process is in the ocean it takes a lot longer than the ones on land due to a much lower temperature.
Plastics can be reduced, re-used and recycled as well as be converted into oil. The process allows us to process plastic waste and produce alternative oil that could use as fuel to our generators and engines.