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The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Is Not What You Think It Is | The Swim

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 Environmental   |   Science
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It's not an island twice the size of Texas. But it is severely impacting marine life and human health... and incredibly hard to study.

How Millions of Microscopic Fibers Are Ending Up in Our Bodies - https://youtu.be/Bbg0L7JN15U

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What Happens to the Plastic We Throw Out
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/06/the-journey-of-plastic-around-the-globe/
"Henderson Island is a tiny, uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 3,000 miles from major population centers. Though it is half the size of Manhattan, more than 19 tons of trash litter its white, sandy beaches. Researchers estimate that it has the highest concentration of debris of any place in the world, for a total of over 37 million pieces on the entirety of the small island. For every square meter you walk, on average you’ll find 672 pieces of trash. For each visible piece of debris on the beach in the video above, two pieces are buried in the sand. How does so much trash wash ashore on Henderson Island?"

We know ocean plastic is a problem. We can’t fix it until we answer these 5 questions.
https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/7/3/17514172/how-much-plastic-is-in-the-ocean-2018
"Ocean plastic has, in a pretty short time, become a surprisingly potent international environmental movement.For one, there’s more awareness now about the astounding quantity of plastic — between 4.7 and 12.8 million metric tons — floating around in the ocean. As the World Economic Forum put it, this volume is 'equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean per minute.' But what about large-scale, long-term plastic reduction? Shouldn’t we also be working toward that?"

A running list of action on plastic pollution
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/07/ocean-plastic-pollution-solutions/
"THE WORLD HAS a plastic pollution problem and it’s snowballing—but so is public awareness and action.
Each year, an estimated 18 billion pounds of plastic waste enters the world’s ocean from coastal regions. That’s about equivalent to five grocery bags of plastic trash piled up on every foot of coastline on the planet. New research is emerging apace about the possible long-term impacts of tiny pieces of plastic on the marine food chain—raising fresh questions about how it might ultimately impact human health and food security. The world is waking up to a crisis of ocean plastic—and we're tracking the developments and solutions as they happen."

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Ben Lecomte's historic swim across the Pacific Ocean is a feat that can’t be missed. Join us as we dive into the most extensive data set of the Pacific Ocean ever collected. Learn about the technology the Seeker crew is using to deter sharks away from Ben and measure the impact of the long-distance swim on his mind and body. Ben's core mission is to raise awareness for ocean health issues, so we’ll investigate key topics such as pollution and plastics as he swims closer to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, discover potential consequences from climate change, and examine how factors like ocean currents can impact his progress along the way.

Seeker explains every aspect of our world through a lens of science, inspiring a new generation of curious minds who want to know how today’s discoveries in science, math, engineering and technology are impacting our lives, and shaping our future. Our stories parse meaning from the noise in a world of rapidly changing information.

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