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floating garbage twice the size of Texas

Located halfway between California and Hawaii, the churning mass of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now twice the size of Texas. It’s not just the Pacific. There’s an equally large mass in the Atlantic. Ditto the Indian Ocean. These floating garbage dumps are so large they could be considered a country.


Each year, millions of sea turtles, seals, and other marine life die from ingesting trash, especially plastics. If that isn’t bad enough, when fishermen cut open their catch, there’s a one in ten chance of finding plastic in its stomach contents. Which kind of means we really don’t care about the ocean’s giant floating garbage bin. Only 9% of the world’s plastics are recycled.

Since these masses are in international waters, there’s no formal government intervention and no clean up. Our only hope is preventing it from getting bigger or preventing it from forming another equally disgusting mass somewhere else down the road. That means recycle, recycle, recycle.


At our house, the amount of plastic, paper, and aluminum cans we recycle from one week to the next fills up an entire bin and then some. Every trash collection day I wonder the same thing. How do we manage to accumulate so much crap in such a short amount of time? The answer is simple. Everything we purchase seems to be packaged in shiny new plastic destined for the bin. Recycling is the only way to keep it from becoming litter or landfill refuse. So reduce, recycle and reuse. It’ll make you feel like you’re doing something to keep it out of the ocean. Small steps to avoid a big problem.

Be My Early Reader!
Michael Whelan’s Night Daughter

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