by Kali Wyrosdic
Of the five different gyres existing in our oceans, each one is suspected of having its own floating garbage patch. The largest, and first to be discovered, was last estimated at 100 million tons and lies in the North Pacific doldrums, between Japan and California.
Roughly twice the size of Texas, its makeup is ninety percent plastic. In fact, it’s estimated that every square mile of the ocean contains at least 46,000 pieces of plastic.
But not all the trash is plastic. There are many discernable brands that have been found in the North Pacific Gyre over the years and here are some of the most plentiful:
The year 1990 marks the first large deposit of items into the NPG when a container ship was hit by a storm and lost 40,000 pairs of Nike shoes and boots. In 1992, 34,000 Hyundai hockey gloves, shin guards and chest protectors followed.
Throw in about 28,000 rubber ducks and bath toys, 2,000 Floatees, assorted LEGO toys, and plastic bags from Sears, Bristol Farms, The Baby Store, Fred Meyer and El Pollo Loco and you have a sampling of the most-found brands in the NPG.
However, not all the trash is from recent times; there were also plastic Taco Bell bags called ‘t-shirt’ bags with special handles that were designed in 1979. The bags, by the way, showed little degradation.
Kali is a guest author writing for Quench. She is a Philadelphia resident with a passion for good food, good music and filtered water. Quench is the largest provider of filtration-enabled bottleless water cooler and ice dispensers in the nation, providing a healthier and more cost-effective alternative to traditional water delivery in 5-gallon jugs.
Polluted sea photo via Shutterstock