It floats at sea, imprisoned by the ocean and atmospheric forces. Twisting and twirling, suffocating in the depths of the deep blue. Its body still intact, suspended in water, getting pulled by the strong waves beneath. Almost drowning, not breathing, still in the water, getting ready to be digested by a sea animal.
A water bottle.
Have you ever wondered where your plastic and garbage ends up once you throw them onto streets or in rivers? The plastic that ends up on land most likely can end up in the ocean. If you don’t give enough care for the world around you, the ocean can look like the swirl from a flush of a toilet. Although, now, imagine that swirl from the flush being filled with garbage. Garbage full of debris and pieces of plastic, clogging that toilet. Now imagine trying to clean it, and get rid of the mess, it’s difficult to clean up all of the plastic particles now, no matter how many times you try and clean it out. This is because of the microplastics, the plastics that are smaller than 1 mm. Now because of the large amounts of plastic entering the ocean. Plastic which does not biodegrade goes deeper than the surface, hidden under sand, which makes it impossible to clean up.
The entire ocean as a whole is filled with trash and plastic, although, in the North Eastern part of the Pacific Ocean, discovered by Captain Charles Moore in 1997, a garbage gyre can take up around 150,000 miles of the ocean. This swirling garbage gyre, that is constantly moving runs between Hawaii and California.
The Eastern Pacific Garbage patch is the most known and is the largest. It is what some may call, a ‘marine trash vortex’. A high pressured area, including high winds that can occasionally be lighter and blow clockwise. The plastic and other pieces of garbage can get swept and trapped by the oceanic and atmospheric forces, building up higher concentrations.
In connection to physics, motion, is a “change in position of an object over time.” Motion, also includes the distance, velocity, acceleration, time and speed of a specific body or object. The Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch, is like a galaxy of garbage, with stars made up of plastic, and darkness, suffocating the sea animals who get caught in the trash. The motion and movement of the gyre is caused by the ocean currents surrounding the gyre and convergence zone. The convergence zone is when airflows or ocean currents meet causing air and water to create an ongoing vortex of garbage.
Motion, generally means that it is, “a continuous change in the configuration of a physical system”. The Garbage Gyre in the Pacific, every day, continuously changes. The amount of garbage in these gyres change every year and about 60% of all pieces of plastic are eaten by sea animals, which sometimes includes birds that fly down to eat fish, but rather eats the plastic instead.
What will it take to get plastics out of the ocean? Are you willing to save our oceanic wildlife?