The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also described as the Pacific Trash Vortex and the “8th Continent”, is a gyre of about 100 million tonnes of marine litter in the central North Pacific Ocean. The patch extends over a very wide area, which some scientists estimate to be more than twice the size of the continental United States. Recent researches have also identified plastic gyres in the Atlantic Ocean and in the Mediterranean Sea.
- 225 million tonnes of plastic are produced each year, mostly used only once
- 1 million toxic plastic bags are used every minute
- Only 3-5% of the plastic is recycled
- Approximately 10% of plastic waste ends up in the oceans and plastic is believed to constitute 90% of all rubbish floating in the oceans
- The UN Environment Programme estimated in 2006 that every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic
- Around 1 million birds and 100,000 mammals die every year because of plastic waste
- The foundation will seek to empower people to personally play a role in solving ocean pollution issues, specifically around plastic waste disposal.