The Continent of Garbage

<p>A vortex of winds has concentrated garbage and plastic flotsam into a huge island of garbage in the middle of the Pacific Ocean -- an unintentionally man-made mass that is growing at a rapid pace.</p>
November 22, 2007, 9am PST | Nate Berg
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"Located in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii and measuring in at roughly twice the size of Texas, this elusive mass is home to hundreds of species of marine life and is constantly expanding. It has tripled in size since the middle of the 1990s and could grow tenfold in the next decade.

Although no official title has been given to the mass yet, a popular label thus far has been "The Great Pacific Garbage Patch."

As suggested by the name, the island is almost entirely comprised of human-made trash. It currently weighs approximately 3.5 million tons with a concentration of 3.34 million pieces of garbage per square kilometer, 80 per cent of which is plastic.

Due to the Patch's location in the North Pacific Gyre, its growth is guaranteed to continue as this Africa-sized section of ocean spins in a vortex that effectively traps flotsam."

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Published on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 in The Tyee
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