Scientists are worried that action needs to be implemented fast to stop the garbage from breaking down into smaller, more dangerous pieces.
There is a massive accumulation of garbage in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and a recent aerial surveillance operation has found it’s much bigger than previously thought.
Researchers at Ocean Cleanup used plastic scanning technology together with their own eyesight so assess the amount of debris that has accumulated so far. Some pieces of the rubbish were estimated to measure around 1.5 feet and there is thought to be around 1000 individual pieces of debris floating in the one area.
A similar operation was conducted last year to comprehend just how much waste has come together. The operation dubbed the Ocean Cleanup’s Mega Expedition involved the use of 30 boats to make up a solid picture of the amounts. The data collected will be put together with the latest aerial survey to build up a comprehensive idea of just how bad it’s got and will be published in a scientific paper next year.
“The Aerial Expedition – our final reconnaissance mission – brings us another step closer to the cleanup of the Great Pacific garbage patch,” noted Boyan Slat, CEO and founder of the Ocean Cleanup.
Already, they are worried at the sheer amount they’ve witnessed on both operations and warns urgent action needs to be put in place to reduce the growing amount of rubbish in our oceans that devastatingly affecting the ecosystems.
“Most of the debris was large stuff. It’s a ticking time bomb because the big stuff will crumble down to micro plastics over the next few decades if we don’t act,” Slat stated.
To put this into stark perspective, the UN environmental program stated that the sheer volume of garbage is now visible from space.
The latest operation is crucial in going towards understanding the process of getting rid of the trash from hauling it back to shore, working out recycling methods and calculating the overall cost of the cleanup.