Need to Know

Large Patch of Plastic Garbage Found Floating in the Arctic Ocean

This garbage patch consists of microplastics that are embedded in Arctic ice cores and represents about three percent of the total plastic in our oceans.

Scientists recently stumbled across a new garbage patch floating in the remote, frozen regions of the Arctic Ocean, which is endangering wildlife already struggling to adapt to climate changes. This garbage patch consists of microplastics that are embedded in Arctic ice cores and represents about three percent of the total plastic in our oceans.

While it’s unknown where the plastic is coming from, a recent study reveals that Indonesia is the world’s second highest contributor of plastic waste to oceans. And in an effort to reduce ocean waste, companies like TerraCycle and Dell Inc. are turning plastic waste found in oceans into upcycled products.

The Verge has more information:

Scientists have discovered a new garbage patch — this time floating in the remote, frozen reaches of the Arctic. Plastics discarded in Europe and the East Coast of North America slowly drift to a watery graveyard north of Norway, according to a new study — endangering wildlife already struggling to adapt to a changing climate.

There are obscene amounts of plastic drifting, floating, and sinking through the Earth’s oceans. Between five and 13 million metric tons entered the ocean in 2010 alone, according to a 2015 study. Plastic poses a particularly acute threat to wildlife, which can become entangled in it or eat it, causing birds, fish, and marine mammals to slowly starve.

Read the full story here.

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