The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

There is real-life Ong Island and it is huge. It’s called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). Yikes!

The latest estimations of its size indicate a surface area of 1.6 million square kilometers—an area twice the size of Texas. Double yikes!

While we are all doing what we can as individuals to keep it from growing, there was a recent study published in Scientific Reports revealing that roughly 75% — 86% of the GPGP is from offshore commercial fishing industry waste. Furthermore, 46% of the contents are fishing nets and ropes!

While rivers are still the leading source of plastic pollution in the ocean, most of that pollution doesn’t make it to the GPGP. That plastic waste barely makes it beyond the beaches before it sinks below the surface and gets washed back to the shoreline. The plastics from the fishing industry get caught in currents before it has a chance to sink, which is what created this real-life Ong Island.

We are excited about the work done by young Dutch inventor, Boyan Slat, who created the Netherlands based nonprofit called “The Ocean Cleanup.” Since 2013, the company has grown to 120 employees who work globally to tackle this issue. Just one of their projects has already removed over 275,000 pounds of trash from the ocean—and they’re still going.

Today, we are sharing this good news and giving thanks to all of the people making this important work possible.