Great Pacific Garbage

Yes, you’re very smart. That is not the garbage patch pictured above. It’s just there to look good.

Also known as the Trash Vortex and a variety of other names, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch exists in the North Pacific Gyre, a clockwise swirl of currents that’s home to little except phytoplankton – and trash. Lots of trash. ( [A gyer is] a slowly moving, clockwise spiral of currents created by a high-pressure system of air currents. The area is an oceanic desert, filled with tiny phytoplankton but few big fish or mammals. Due to its lack of large fish and gentle breezes, fishermen and sailors rarely travel through the gyre. hey) So much trash that for every pound of plankton, it’s estimated there’s 6 pounds of plastic garbage.

Occasionally, ocean currents will change and release some of cache of garbage, which winds washing up on the beaches around the outskirts of the gyre in huge amounts. Ocean researcher Charles Moore reported the amount of plastics in areas of the gyre to be somewhere around 3.3 million pieces per square kilometer! CREDIT DUE

Theres a better write up here though.

If you ask me, just put up a giant Brita filter around it, and we’ve got ourselves a good place to put our trash.



26 Responses to “Great Pacific Garbage”

  1. where is that a picutre of? Like which countries are pictured in that image?

  2. This is the northern half of Japan; the top island is Hokkaido, and the southern is Honshu.

  3. jeffry helm Says:

    The sephardics are obviously to blame ( pacific rim sephards , they’ll kill us all !!!

  4. the sea is not to blame it is the people on ships, boats and planes that throw trash into the pacific

  5. The trash I would imagine as also washed down streams and rivers after being blown around on land for awhile

  6. Justine Martin Says:

    my name is Justine. I hav heard of this “garbage swirl” before, and seeing more images of it triggered me to do something. It has recently come to my attention that Whole Foods has outlawed the us of plastic bags. Many other countries such as China, Ireland, and Australia have also outlawed this harmful product. I have been wriing to many other large chain stores to quit their use of plastic bags, but it will take more than just a 14 year old girl to sway them. Please, if you truly care about your planet, start a petition of your own! I have all the adresses and phone numbers of the large corprate offices, so if you decide to help, I will post them on this blog.
    thank you.

    • Just a note that you may like to know, as an Australian citizen and resident I can tell you right now that plastic bags have NOT been entirely banned. There are some places that require you to bring your own or buy them, however they are VERY rare.
      Also, in address to China also “not” having them, its also false. I have recently come back from China (Shanghai and Beijing) and when going to supermarkets, markets, shops and resturants/ take away, they all issued me and others with plastic bags of no charge. I do not know wether or not it is just those two cities that have plastic bags.

  7. BS Detector Says:

    The area featured isn’t even remotely where they report this thing to be. So this photo is hardly proof. If anything it looks like remnants of storm upwelling. Rest assured we’re destroying our oceans with pollutants, but if we’re going to get people on our side let’s please stick with highlighting undeniable facts. That researchers haven’t been able to come up with a single contextualized photograph of this “island” is beyond troublesome.

  8. Native-SUn Says:

    I will have to agree with BS Detector, why not apply this simple solution of “facts” to every aspect of our lives. I am not denying such a trash pile does not exist, I am certain it is a good possibility. I would like to stick to facts and not opinions.

  9. Sim Sim Says:

    Not that I’m syaing this is a false claim, but I’ve been searching google for hours and I can’t find any pictures of this floating mess of garbage.

    All the ‘facts’ that people are talking about are estimations, and best guesses from environmentalists.

    Again, not saying it’s untrue, but show me a damn picture and I might actually beleive you.

    • qdavidlamb Says:

      So your evidence comes from a picture on the internet? Is this hard facts based reality, or convenience based reality? the former allows for little deception, and the later allows for great amounts of deception. I like my facts without deception.

    • wow dude, um if you’ve been searching around for hours then your really missing something. learn how to do real research or open your eyes and grasp the concept a little better, try youtube or
      people that show complete disregard for this is why nothing gets done

      • Wow your link doesnt show jack squat. The video will not play. If the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is truly the size of TExas or bigger there should be at least one full frame picture where nothing you can see but garbage to the horizon.

  10. rocket scientist Says:

    The picture you posted is not of the Garbage, but of chlorophyll blooms east of Hokkaido (also here:
    I am also very much concerned about the environment and the pacific garbage but please do not mislead people. Science and truthful information should lead us in winning this battle for environmental protection.

  11. rocket scientist Says:

    it is hard to get a picture of it from space, the garbage are tiny bits of plastic stretching for thousands of miles. Here is a cnn article about it:


  12. That’s not the garbage patch…
    That’s just a gyre.

    The patch is somewhere around in the space North of Hawaii and between Hawaii and San Fransisco.

  13. That is not a picture of the Garbage Patch, it is simply a gyre.. the garbage in the Pacific CANNOT be seen from a satellite photo

    Original photo source:

  14. Maybe you are right, “BS Detector” but that does not mean that the garbage swirl does not exist.

  15. thats just crazy

  16. re: BS DETECTOR.
    don’t be a moron, that’s a picture of a phytoplankton bloom under the influence of current motion off the coast of japan.

  17. Jessiqua Says:

    This thing has been around sense the 1950’s and it’s well cloaked?
    What the hell??? I’m an NIC college student and we just had a awareness program for this so I figured why the hell don’t people know about this~
    What’s surprising is the amount of people that are SSSOOOO influenced by the government and complete disregard for what is real and fake that they rather suck the tit of society than admit that this is a real problem.
    Its like global warming, are we all going to have to get to the “I told you so” point before anyone does anything about this??????

  18. Blanket Says:

    Ok, so maybe this is not a photo of the great pacific garbage swirl, but that is beside the point. The human race is both ignorant and arrogant to believe that the earth is not in trouble and that it will not effect us. Look out your window, open your eyes! Polution is all around us! The polution of the ocean is just one small portion, and I am sick of hearing people defending us, when we have no right to be defended!

  19. That makes sense that the trash gets ground up into little bits in the ocean and collects in a place where the currents turn in a circle. The plastic is probably just the most insidious because its made up of different kinds of petro-chemicals. So I believe that article on

    In Oakland, California the six-person BayNVC Empathy Team is hosting an empathy circle around the GOM oil spill. I am a member of the team. The principles of the team are based on the theory of non-violent, empathic response, as opposed to defensiveness, denial or blaming.

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