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Posted Tue Jun 8 2010: from TreeHugger:
The Pacific Trash Vortex Explained (Video)
What exactly is the Pacific Trash Vortex? Well, it's a huge floating mass of trash twice the size of Texas that has the dubious honor of being the largest landfill on the planet. 90 percent of this trash is plastic, 80 percent which originates on land with the other 20 percent coming from seafaring vessels and, eh hem, oil platforms.... Who's responsible for this mess? Humans, especially those in the developed world who are consuming, discarding and replacing mostly Chinese-made plastic crap at an ever-accelerating rate. The U.S. has 5 percent of the world's population but consumes 30 percent of the world's resources and creates 30 percent of the world's waste.... No-one knows exactly when Great Pacific Garbage Patch began to form but we do know plastic has been around for the past 144 years and except for the small amount that's been incinerated every bit of plastic ever made still exists. Given we're churning out about 60 billion tons of it, much of it disposable, it's no wonder monsters the like the Great Pacific Vortex have been created.
[Read more stories about: plastic gyre, plastic problems, toxic buildup]

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