Humanities largest human waste has a name: the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). It is by far the largest of five offshore plastic accumulation zones in our oceans. The GPGP is floating halfway between California and Hawaii. It covers an astonishing 1.6m km2. Let us repeat this number: 1,600,000 km2, or more than six (!) times the size of the UK.
Sadly, more than 2 million tonnes of plastic are estimated to enter the ocean each year. The most likely entry point is via rivers, and more than half of this plastic floats almost perpetually and for eternity. The more rigid plastics show resiliency in the marine environment, allowing them to “travel” over large maritime distances. They persist at the sea surface as they make their way offshore, transported by converging currents and finally accumulating in the patch from which they cannot escape.
They stay in the patch until degraded into tiny microplastics under the effects of sun, waves and marine life. As more and more plastics are discarded into the environment, microplastic concentration in the Pacific will only continue to increase. Sadly.
Plastic in the patch has been measured for decades, observations as well as calculations from subsequent years show that microplastic mass concentration is increasing exponentially! In other words, the input of plastic in the patch is greater than the output.
Unless sources of plastic are mitigated, this number will continue to rise.
We, at Moving Beans, are contributing a little to this mitigation in that we provide a plant-based solution which biodegrades and decomposts fairly quickly once given to waste collection. We pack in amazing coffee to make sure you enjoy your cup of coffee every day, whilst not contributing to the increase of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.