The great pacific garbage patch is one of five known plastic trash vortexes. A vortex is a force of nature generated by motion and gravity as we find in the bathroom or kitchen drain. He goes around and around.
Plastic is not easily returned to nature the way cotton clothing or hemp rope breaks down and dissolves back into the earth or even oceans. Plastic breaks into tiny pieces that become microscopic and process for over 400 years. This may not seem important to us today, but it is important to future generations. Future generations will have contaminated see life and in many cases, many species of sea life will perish because of our plastic portion. We should not expect fish to survive microscopic plastic inside their gills and bloodstreams.
More, before plastic breaks down, ocean wildlife of all sizes consume it. Trash cans line the stomachs of whales, dolphins, and turtles. Turtles are the most obvious victims of our everyday plastic trash litter. We should not mistake them is the only victim of our carelessness.
Where might we begin to solve this problem, one of the most terrible problems that we've created with our inappropriate technologies? And no, it's not like nuclear war or radioactive waste left on the Fukushima or Sanibel free California beach. It is a slow, poisoning process and it will continue for hundreds of years just like radioactive waste.
Teachers, school counselors, principals, and students will tell you that every day a large percentage of students litter their school campuses with plastic. They litter plastic on their way to school and on their way from school. When asked why they litter, and we find a serious student, we learn that it gives them a sense of "freedom" and part of their path to adulthood as they make their own choices. The kids are basically flaunting what was once considered an American value, "don't litter." Some people think this is trite, superficial social engineering, but today we see the effects of plastic litter in our oceans.
It begins in our toothpastes, it continues in our clothing, continues that are chewing gum, it makes its way to the oceans in toys, containers, medical devices, and straws.