As four major currents in the North Atlantic Ocean between Virginia and Cuba push garbage through the sea, it gets absorbed into a giant trash island now known as the North Atlantic Garbage Patch. It is a smaller “cousin” to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Humans annually produce about 200 billion pounds of plastic and about 10% of this material ends up in the ocean. These plastics accumulate in the sea and swirl around on of five oceanic gyres (regions where currents push water and floating debris in an inward circular motion), trapping it in the center. The results of this swirling waste are enormous floating garbage heaps.
Unfortunately, filtering or scooping of this waste out of the water is not considered a viable option for cleanup as the process of cleaning the garbage out of the ocean would likely cause more damage to the ecosystem. Biodegradable plastics found in the garbage heap break down into smaller pieces and are pushed down into the water where they are most often consumed by marine life.
Most of the plastic found in the North Atlantic Garbage Patch started on land in the hands of humans.
Please follow this link to find out how you can play your part to prevent plastic pollution in our oceans.