Episode
March 28, 2018

How can we clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

Environmental activists call for global reduction in marine plastic waste.
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A new study has found that a slurry of plastic rubbish in the waters between Hawaii and California is up to 16 times bigger than previously thought and now covers an area three times the size of France. Known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the infamous aquatic region was created by circular ocean currents that collect debris, discarded fishing equipment and microplastics - confetti-sized remnants of plastic waste.

It's not the only part of the ocean suffering from plastic pollution. An estimated 8 million tons of plastic waste end up in our oceans each year, according to the United Nations Environment Program. If nothing is done to address the problem, by 2050, the amount of marine plastic waste could surpass the total weight of fish in the ocean.

So what should be done to address marine plastic pollution? And how is throwaway culture and reliance on single-use plastics impacting the environment? In this episode, we’ll speak to environmental activists working to solve the issue. Join the conversation at 1930GMT.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Laurent Lebreton @modellinghouse
Oceanographer, The Ocean Cleanup

Dr. Marcus Eriksen @5gyres
Co-founder, 5 Gyres Institute Director of research 
5gyres.org

Shilpi Chhotray @ShilpiChhotray
Senior Communications Officer, Break Free from Plastic 
breakfreefromplastic.org

Isabel Wijsen @BBPB_bali
Co-Founder, Bye Bye Plastic Bags
byebyeplasticbags.org

Read more:

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch isn’t what you think it is - National Geographic
Let's bag plastic bags - New York Times

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