Gallery: Another Giant Garbage Patch Found in the Atlantic Ocean


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.

Via The Associated Press


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  1. Nason Heywood April 12, 2015 at 5:11 pm
  2. Tim Major April 12, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    This is everyone’s problem and can’t be blamed on ANY particular industry, JenniferC. I have witnessed many a municipality that don’t want to deal with landfill issues contract their garbage removal out, so that it is someone else’s problem… it becomes an issue of, “if it is dumped into the water, away from society where we can’t see it, it will magically take care of itself…or they could care less if it is or not. Out of sight , out of mind has always been humanities’ mantra…and this is no different.

  3. Tim Major April 12, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    @ Daniel Grace…We already have such wildlife that do that…we don’t need to genetically engineer them… as proven with the Pacific patch that culminate around midway Island (world war 2 fame)the seagulls that inhabit the deserted atolls there are consuming and dying rapidly as a result of the sheer amount. This is not in any way a solution. Besides, you are talking about a carcinogous petroleum -based product…not very nutritious. Here’s an idea for you – like in many toothpastes and mouthwashes now on the market, why don’t you introduce plastic into your daily diet…and get everyone else to do the same…kill two birds with one stone!!- or plastic pellet, as it were.

  4. Sagarmitra Vinod December 16, 2014 at 4:10 am

    In my city of Pune, India, 81,000 school students are collecting plastic waste from their homes (only from within the four walls of their own homes with the help of family) and fetching it to school every month in a monthly-collection-bag. This is the Sagarmitra Abhiyaan which began in 2011 with 150 students; 2012 – 10,000 students; 2013- 61,000 students and now in 2014 – 81,000 students in Pune and 15,000 in three other cities. This plastic being from home is clean and empty and dry and is purchased and recycled. AIM- every school on our planet. Timeline- before 2025. SAGARMITRA ABHIYAAN means Friends-of-Oceans Mass-Movement. . Vinod Bodhankar.

  5. Daniel Grace December 7, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Why not genetically engineer some creatures that instinctively eats plastic and dumps it out in designated areas on the land? I guess we don’t know enough about genetics to make such a creature.

  6. JenniferC April 3, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    At what point will International regulations be set up and enforced to stop cruise ships from being able to dump all their trash into open waters? This is likely where most of all this garbage is coming from, not to mentional all the raw sewage that isn’t seen but a huge pollutant. There is no other way to stop a majority the pollution than to hold these huge cruise liners accountable for the garage they generate.

  7. weezer March 28, 2013 at 12:26 am

    we have to figure out how to grind it up and use it as either a raw material for other plastic applications or as a fuel. “storing” it for later recycling doesn’t address the problem, then we would have to move it to land and landfill it.

  8. Electrolux Unveils "Vac... October 27, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    […] Sea, the Pacific Ocean, and the Baltic Sea to collect plastic trash. A large assortment of plastic trash was sorted and crafted to create the front plastic panel of a limited edition of the Ultra One […]

  9. Jim Ison September 30, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    people aren’t going to stop throwing trash in the ocean, so let’s get started cleaning it up

  10. Amazing Natural Packagi... September 3, 2010 at 11:13 am

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  11. concerned April 17, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Why not build a floating ‘free trade’ port where ships/people can trade, shop (cant stop ’em so might as well keep the plastics journey shorter) and refuel… then use plasma furnaces to convert the constant influx of garbage into gas/oil and landmass filler. With solar you’ll have enough power options to run desal so you can clean up the mess and make some cash without the transport costs to the producer.

  12. Sallie Trout April 16, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    The particulate in the ocean breaks down so that it is so fine, it can’t just be scooped up. I believe it is working like a giant swimming pool cover and heating the oceans. I think the larger pieces must be ‘harvested’ before they breakdown and the influx of additional material stopped. What organization or gov. agency is or can work on this? Where to go from here constructively?

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