Creating A Clean Pacific Ocean

Photo courtesy of Bodhi Surf School.

Photo courtesy of Bodhi Surf School.

Madeleine Katz, Photojournalist

Approximately one million square kilometers in the Pacific Ocean is covered with unrecyclable trash and debris. The area covered in trash, also known as the Pacific Garbage Patch, weighs seven million tons and is predicted by scientist Charles Moore to double in the next ten years. The pollution is affecting the health of marine life and Dutch inventor, Boyan Slat, has a plan to clean up the Pacific Ocean according to the Huffington Post.

Nine percent of the fish living near the Pacific Garbage Patch have been found with plastic inside their bodies. When these fish are caught and sold, many of them end up in supermarkets and people all over the world have been found to have plastic inside their bodies as a result, as reported by Futurism.

According to The Guardian, the Pacific garbage patch is situated between Hawaii and California and  is twice the size of the state of Texas. The UN environmental program believe it will grow so fast that eventually the patch will be able to be seen from space.

In 2013, Boyan Slat founded The Ocean Cleanup project with the goal of cleaning all the plastics out of the Pacific Ocean. “we need to clean it [The Pacific Ocean] up and… we really need to take care of the plastic that’s already out there in the ocean, because all this big stuff, over the next few decades, will crumble down into those small microplastics,” Slat stated.

In 2020, Slat plans to start enforcing his cleanup plan.  “Instead of going after the plastic using nets and vessels, which would take an infinite amount of time, we developed this system. The plastic moves toward the center, and therefore the concentration increases 100,000 times. You really can walk on the water.”

If nothing is done about the amount of unrecyclable plastic produced and released into our environment in the next few decades, statistics show that the amount of plastic in the oceans  will outnumber fish by 2050. Slat’s plan would get rid of half of the current trash within ten years of his plan in action, reported the Huffington Post.

“I think it is necessary to clean up the Pacific Ocean because if we don’t, it might harm animals who live there. If we keep the pollutants in the water,  it could possibly kill endangered species that are just trying to live in their natural habitat. The cost of cleaning the Pacific Ocean doesn’t matter in these type of situations because the lives of animals is much more valuable than money will ever be,” stated Alhees Basharmal (9).