If the garbage patch includes plastic bags (which it most likely does), then yes, it will harm whales in a major way. Tens of thousands of whales, birds, seals, and turtles, are killed every year from plastic bag litter in the marine environment. Once plastic bags are ingested they stay in the guts of these animals and inhibit food digestion eventually leading to a slow and painful death. Plastic bags can take up to 1000 years to break down, so even after the animal’s body decomposes, the bag is then free to harm another animal (Planet Ark, 2011).
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