Giant ball of trash floats off California coast

Via Boing Boing, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that there’s a floating heap of plastic and trash off the coast of California that’s grown to twice the size of Texas (but not as stupid):

The enormous stew of trash – which consists of 80 percent plastics and weighs some 3.5 million tons, say oceanographers – floats where few people ever travel, in a no-man’s land between San Francisco and Hawaii.

Even worse, scientists are gloomy about the prospect of ever cleaning up the mess:

“At this point, cleaning it up isn’t an option,” Parry said. “It’s just going to get bigger as our reliance on plastics continues. … The long-term solution is to stop producing as much plastic products at home and change our consumption habits.”

Oh wait. You’re serious?

Anyway, the Chronicle doesn’t have any pictures of the giant garbage patch, so Pax Arcana hired a sketch artist to depict what a typical piece of floating trash looks like:


Continent-size toxic stew of plastic trash fouling swath of Pacific Ocean [SF Chronicle]



Filed under environment, science

3 responses to “Giant ball of trash floats off California coast

  1. How odd that nobody can get a picture of a pile of trash that is twice the size of Texas. And it is claimed to be in an area to where few people travel.

    Can you say “media hack”?

  2. You’re right. I won’t believe it exists until it literally crawls up on the beach and swallows my shoes. Can you say, “The facts have a well-known liberal bias?”

  3. fred dodsworth

    Like all other of these aquatic accretions of garbage, it would better described as a thin toxic stew of lifeless desolation rather than an island. What little of the plastic debris that is visible above the water line would be quite unimpressive and probably indiscernable to the average schmuck. That doesn’t make it any less toxic or destructive, nor does it speak at all to the enormous quantity accumulated.

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