AN AMAZING FACT: Not all garbage ends up at the dump. In fact, Earth’s largest landfill isn’t on land at all. Every year millions of tons of plastic and other floating garbage is washed, blown, or dumped into the Pacific Ocean. It comes from rivers, boats, and populated beaches around the coasts of the great sea. Gradually, a constantly revolving whirlpool of ocean currents and wind gather and push these items into a virtual vortex of trash. This forms a floating rubbish convergence zone bigger than the state of Texas.
This galaxy of garbage, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, stretches more than a thousand miles across the central North Pacific Ocean. It is found in ocean space between Japan and California, while hovering a few hundred miles north of Hawaii. There are places where this tangled mass of nets, bottles, and bags is so thick you can walk on it, but most of the garbage patch is a minestrone soup of rubbish. Despite its continental size, the patch is not visible through satellite photography because most of its contents are a snow of plastic confetti suspended beneath the surface of the ocean.
This swirling synthetic sea presents a deadly minefield of debris. Each year thousands of ocean-going birds, fish, and mammals are killed trying to survive near this growing gauntlet of garbage. Turtles eat the plastic bags, thinking they are jellyfish. Birds eat the plastic particles, thinking they’re fish or shrimp, then starve because the indigestible
polymers give them the false sensation they are full. It is estimated this nebulous, floating junk yard, also called the Pacific Trash Vortex, may contain over 100 million tons of debris, and it’s growing every year. While it is the largest, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is not unique. It is only one of five gigantic gatherings of garbage found among the seven seas of the world.
Did you know the Bible says that God will cast our sins in the depths of the sea? But the good news is that they don’t float! “He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. Psalms 104:25