Prevention and Restoration Efforts
The problem of trash in the seas is not limited to the North Pacific; debris is found throughout the world's oceans. National and international conventions and agreements have been implemented to reduce the amount of plastic debris that ends up in the marine environment. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is investigating potential cleanup strategies. Many organizations are dedicated to restoring the oceans, including the Environmental Cleanup Coalition, the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, and the Ocean Conservancy.
Expanded waste reduction, recycling and reuse programs are critical to lessen the amount of plastics that find their way into the sea. Individuals can play their part by spreading the word about the global problem of marine debris, reducing the amount of plastic they use, taking care to recycle or dispose of plastic trash properly, and pitching in to help with beach or river cleanup programs in their area.
Learn more about how scientists are studying this phenomenon in 'Voyage to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch'.
Silverman, Jacob. "Why is the world's biggest landfill in the Pacific Ocean?" HowStuffWorks.com September 19, 2007.
Hohn, Donovan. "Sea of Trash." New York Times Magazine, June 22, 2008.
Bird, Winifred. "Oceans Awash in Toxic Seas of Plastic." The Japan Times, March 22, 2009.
Plastic Debris in the World's Oceans.