If you thought the Great Pacific Garbage Patch was a nightmare, things just got worse — it has a twin. As Plastiki makes its way across the Pacific to raise awareness about plastic in the oceans, scientists have found a matching patch in the Atlantic Ocean that stretches for thousands of square miles. The news doesn’t stop there — scientists warn the phenomenon is likely to exist in still more places around the globe.
The Atlantic patch was found by the Five Gyres Project hiding in a remote area of the ocean between Bermuda and Portugal’s mid-Atlantic Azores islands. Like the Pacific patch, it consists of tiny particles of plastic floating just beneath the ocean’s surface brought there by a vortex of currents. The patch also has larger debris composed mostly of plastic bottles entangled in seaweed — the researchers even caught a live trigger fish caught inside a plastic bucket.
As disheartening as this news is, perhaps it will help us all loosen our grip on plastic consumption and throw-away products. More garbage patches are likely to be found and we’ve not a clue as how to clean them up. The only action we have is prevention. It seems one giant floating trash bin in the Pacific wasn’t enough to smack people into their senses but maybe the uncovering of it’s sister will help.