Plastic Islands Litter the Oceans
When most of us use plastic bottles, we rarely think where they could end up – naively assuming that they will all be recycled.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Only a small percentage of plastic is actually recycled (less than 5%), instead many of it is either dumped into landfills or shipped miles from the coasts and dumped into the sea, to litter the oceans as they break down into smaller fragments slowly over hundreds to thousands of years, in a process called photodegradation.
These plastics are dangerous and harmful to local wildlife populations. casing catastrophic impact on some species.
In fact, due to the currents in the oceans, these plastics culminate in to what is described as sea debris or ‘islands of plastic’, encompassing many hundreds of thousands of square kilometers.
The one lying in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is called the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’- and is estimated at 1.76 million square kilometers – that’s 3 times larger than Spain and Portugal combined!
(you can see all the facts about this ‘plastic island’ on the infographic below).