The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Great Pacific Garbage Patch Infographic

With all of the talk about global warming – or cooling, depending on what decade we are in – there is very little talk about the in-calculable amount of garbage, shipping containers, large ships, aircraft, etc that are either floating on, in or sunk to the bottom of the world’s oceans.

One such patch of garbage that has been floating around the oceans, destroying marine live at an unprecedented speed is the great pacific garbage patch. The great pacific garbage patch has been building in size since the 1960’s, but was not publicized till the 1970’s.

It hasn’t been till recently that an enterprising group of folks from The Ocean Cleanup have embarked on a mission to clean-up the ocean surrounding the garbage patch.

The most polluting countries can be found in Asia primary due to the lack of infrastructure or just not caring and denial that the problem exists.

Great Pacific Garbage Patch Highest Polluters

Roughly ninety percent of the plastic in the ocean comes from just one of ten rivers in the world, five of which pass through China:

Chang Jiang (Yangtze River) (1.5 million tons) Asia’s longest river, this Chinese river flows to the southern part of the Yellow Sea, which accesses the Pacific.

Indus (160,000 tons) This river enters the Indian Ocean from Pakistan.
Huang He (Yellow River) (120,000 tons) The second longest river in China which leads to the Pacific via the Yellow Sea.

Hai He (92,000 tons) A river system in the northern part of China that flows into the Bohal Sea.

Nile (85,000 tons) The longest river in the world, which flows through Egypt to reach the Mediterranean Sea.

Meghna, Brahmaputra, Ganges (73,000 tons) The Ganges river basin flows out to the Bay of Bengal, reaching the Indian Ocean.

Zhujiang (Pearl River) (53,000 tons) The Pearl River flows through China to the South China Sea.

Amur (38,000 tons) The Amur River forms part of the border between Russia and China, and it leads to the Sea of Othosk.

Niger (35,000 tons) The Niger River flows through West Africa to the Gulf of Guinea on the coast of Nigeria.

Mekong (33,000 tons) The Mekong River flows through Southeast Asia past Laos, Thailand and Cambodia, emptying into the South China Sea.