The Trash Islands of the Pacific

The United States needs to step up efforts to clean the gigantic floating trash heaps in the North Pacific.

Today in the middle of the North Pacific there are multiple islands of trash, plastics, and other debris collected into this area by the ocean currents. These trash islands completely cover an expanse of ocean, and some are as large as the state of Texas. This is unacceptable. There have beenb a few minor attempts to use ships to clean up these floating debris fields. However, none of them were serious attempts, involving only a few ships at most. The world needs a determined attempt to clean up these vast growing fields of trash. It may not be American territory, but the United States is the most powerful nation in the world. These trash fields are in international waters, and therefore anyone can help to clean up this disaster. We should lead the effort to clear this mess away, and work with other nations, such as Japan, China, Canada, and other Pacific nations to make sure it stays clear.

These large fields of trash are an enormous danger to the environment as well as humans. Birds eat the plastic, thinking its food, and die. Sea turtles, such as the threatened Green Sea Turtle, may mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, eat them, and suffocate. Fish may get caught in string and nets that may be in the trash islands. Air breathing aquatic mammals such as dolphins and whales can't come up for air through the trash islands, and may drown. These are all sources of food for humans, as well as nature's bounty and beauty. If they die due to our refuse, then we will run out of food sooner in the future, and the human race will suffer greatly.