The most positive thing we could do, clearly, is to clean the chemicals and debris from the water. However, that would be a huge undertaking, and could take several years. Another positive approach could be to use it as an example of why we should be more careful with our waste and be kinder to the environment.
Well one thing we could easily do is go out and try to find items that are recyclable. If we cold just collect things like that and bring them back to be recycled we could reduce the amount of waste in the patch and could also use these materials for recycling which helps reduce the amount of virgin materials used to produce goods.
We could clean it up! The Great Pacific Garbage Patch exists and is a huge problem, but its name is a little misleading. Just from hearing the words you would think that you could take a boat into the middle of the Pacific Ocean and find a huge pile of floating plastic garbage. (Charles J. Moore, a yacht racer, claims to have done so in 1997, but what he found, although a significant pollution concentration, is not really what the Garbage Patch is). Most of the Garbage Patch consists of very small particles of plastic that are generally invisible to the naked eye. Its effect is felt keenly though, especially on birds and marine life who are often poisoned by the microscopic particles of plastic, which are broken down from larger bits of trash such as plastic bags or abandoned fishing nets. So it is not like you can grab a trash bag, motor on out to the central Pacific and start cleaning up plastic bags floating in the water–it’s not that simple. In August 2009 a group of scientists from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography conducted extensive tests on the Garbage Patch, trying to determine how feasible it is to filter the plastic out of the water and recycle it, or other clean-up methods. From what I understand this research is still in its basic stage.
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