Trash in our oceans isn’t something to think about only on World Oceans Day, or when yet another odd piece of debris from the 2011 Japan tsunami washes up on distant shores. It’s a pervasive, and ever-growing problem in every one of the planet’s oceans.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a wide swath of ocean where waste has concentrated because of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Gyres are regions of the oceans where water rotates in a large circular pattern. The five major ocean gyres are the North Pacific, North Atlantic, Indian Ocean, South Atlantic and South Pacific. The volume of plastic debris in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre has increased by 100 times over the past 40 years, according to a study from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.