The garbage patches are formed by oceanic gyres, so we can hypothesize their whereabouts based on currents and weather patterns. However, preventing the buildup is more difficult. No one really knows how large these are yet because they are in small collective clumps above and below the surface. However, there are several notable causes which could be monitored as a preventative action. One is oil rigs and cargo ships which regularly dump enormous sums of trash into the water. Fishing nets also comprise 10% of the debris. 80% comes from land, and it would be difficult to monitor every source, but monitoring these major sources is possible.
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