OK so what is the North Pacific Gyre?
A gyre is a place where currents meet and form a whirlpool type system – this forms a meeting place for ocean debris.
“In the broad expanse of the northern Pacific Ocean, there exists the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, a slowly moving, clockwise spiral of currents created by a high-pressure system of air currents. The area is an oceanic desert, filled with tiny phytoplankton but few big fish or mammals. Due to its lack of large fish and gentle breezes, fishermen and sailors rarely travel through the gyre. But the area is filled with something besides plankton: trash, millions of pounds of it, most of it plastic. It’s the largest landfill in the world, and it floats in the middle of the ocean.”
Source: How Stuff Works
As Jay said…
“How could there be an island of plastic in the ocean, so big, and yet, how come nobody knew about this?”
Some people say, hang on it’s not an island. Yes, the plastic is still there but its not in the form of an island. It’s almost as if that makes it ok..!!
Sadly, the North Pacific Gyre isn’t the only garbage patch…as the diagram below shows there are in fact 5 main gyres in the world’s oceans.