North East of Hawaii, the ocean currents form a giant whirl pool of debris from around the Pacific, the scientific name is called the North Pacific Gyre. It’s one of the largest ecosystems on Earth, comprising of millions of square kilometres.
Today it’s better known as “The Great Garbage Patch,” an area the size of Queensland, Australia where there is approximately one million tonnes of plastic spread throughout the ocean. Drag a net in any area of this part of the ocean and you will pick up toxic, discarded plastic.
Photographer Chris Jordan has documented this phenomenon.
I had been studying for quite a while the phenomenon called the Pacific garbage patch. I was looking for a way to visualize it, it was really surreal to land on Midway, seeing that my worst hopes of what I would find there are true. These are all albatross chicks, hatched out of their eggs and the very first meal they got was deadly to them. What happens is, when the eggs hatch one of the parents goes out and flies looking for food. They search over this vast area of the pacific and when they come back with is a belly full of toxic plastics, and they feed that to their babies. They die of starvation, malnutrition and chocking. Simply allow yourself to feel whatever it is you feel about this, without jumping to the way to solve it. Because I think we really need to feel these things, even if the feelings are uncomfortable, because those are the feelings that will turn into the fuel and drive passionate action – Chris Jordan
The desire to change these things will put the human race on a journey to do so, and we are in the midst of it. Ultimately it is our choice as to whether or not we take the time to educate ourselves about our choices and begin doing things in a manner that cares for our environment and home more than our materialistic needs.
What can we do about this problem now? As much as possible, support eco-friendly products. Avoid being wasteful and purchasing new products each time a new version comes out simply so we can be up to date with the latest greatest. Create awareness about this issue and pass it onto your friends and family. Awareness has been key in changing various aspects of our world and so often we give it little credit. It is much more powerful than we think.