It contains 100 million tons of garbage and swirls between 500 nautical miles off the California coast to near Japan, almost twice the size of the continental US.
“It moves around like a big animal without a leash.” When that animal comes close to land, as it does at the Hawaiian archipelago, the results are dramatic. “The garbage patch barfs, and you get a beach covered with this confetti of plastic.”
Most of the garbage is disposable plastic trash, killing birds and marine animals. Even worse for humans, countless small plastic pellets absorb toxics from the ocean, get eaten by animals, which then end up as food for us.
So how do we clean it up? That would be “we” as a planet as it’s a planetary problem.