Pacific Trash Vortex

Posted in Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 6, 2013

It was an ISM…internet synchronicity manifestation. There was a much praised video about a plastic bag, that winds up in the Pacific Trash Vortex. The bag has a voice (supplied by uberkraut Werner Herzog), and goes looking for it’s “maker” (silently played by an unknown actress).

The bag has a remarkable existence. First, it is used to carry tennis balls, then dog food, then to pick up the by product of dog food. This is remarkable in itself… the typical krogerbag, if it doesn’t get thrown away on arrival at home, will not be used for more than one chore. But this is a special bag.

After the secondary canine duty, the bag is thrashed. Somehow, it escapes from the municipal destination, and begins a wind propelled odyssey in search of “my maker”. After a while, it is on the beach, and the wind takes it into the ocean. It floats in the sea, has pieces bitten off my non nutrition conscious fish, and heads off for a legendary garbage nirvana.

Before long, the bag is in the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”. The GPGP is a bit north of Hawaii, and west of California. The bag movie was filmed in Wilmington, N.C. You should not think about this too long. At any rate, the bag is not happy in the GPGP, and moves on to greener pastures.

The feature linked above has a good description of the GPGP. “In t­he broad expanse of the northern Pacific Ocean, there exists the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, a slowly moving, clockwise spiral of currents created by a high-pressure system of air currents. The area is an oceanic desert, filled with tiny phytoplankton but few big fish or mammals. Due to its lack of large fish and gentle breezes, fishermen and­ s­ailors rarely travel through the gyre. But the area is filled with something besides plankton: trash, millions of pounds of it, most of it plastic. It’s the largest landfill in the world, and it floats in the middle of the ocean.”

The next day, PG goes to a site called Listverse. The feature of the day is “top ten places you don’t want to visit”. Number ten on the list is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. GPGP is either the size of Texas or twice the size of the lower 48. It is a collection of debris, largely plastic, from the world. It is held in place by a gyre. This is a place where swirling ocean currents bump up against each other.

A visit to google led to a trip to wikipedia. There is an article at Wikipedia about GPGP that is an almost verbatim source for listverse. This takes recycling a bit too far. There is also a band called Pacific Trash Vortex. The link is to MySpace, which apparently is never going away.

Plastic is a petroleum by product, and has many benefits to our world. It’s durability is one of them, and also one of it’s negatives. (The fact that plastic is so cheap to make is another.) A plastic bag cast off into the environment simply does not disappear. Fish eat them, thinking it is good food, and die of starvation. (Does this affect the food chain?) While the film about the plastic bag is an exaggeration, the fact is that plastic is forever.

The vintage photographs are from the “Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”. The poster is from This is a repost from three years ago. Very little has changed in the world of perpetual plastic pollution. It is not known whether, or not, the Pacific Trash location of the Vortex has a no idiot policy.

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  1. Pacific Trash Vortex | Chamblee54 said, on March 16, 2015 at 11:48 am

    […] exaggeration, the fact is that plastic is forever. The poster is from This is a repost. The vintage photographs are from the “Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State […]

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