It floats. It's twice the size of Texas. And it contains some 3.5 million tonnes of plastic. Welcome to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Floating somewhere between San Franciso and Hawaii, the Garbage Patch is fed by everyday plastic refuse, wind, and ocean currents that trap the debris. It has been growing tenfold every decade since the 1950s.
Said Oceanographer Marcus Eriksen:
"With the winds blowing in and the currents in the gyre going circular, it's the perfect environment for trapping. There's nothing we can do about it now, except do no more harm."
And by 'no more harm' he means 'stop throwing out so much plastic, stupid'. Scientists estimate that the garbage patch will cost billions to clean up.
Here's a thought: why clean it up at all? Let's colonize the sucker. All I need is two ships, 150 stout colonists of virtue true, and some sundry tools and livestock. We will make Garbage Island our home. True, it is a hard (in both a tactile and experiential sense) land. A cruel land. But, by jove, it will be our land.
And fear not, reallanders. Continue to throw away your plastic bags and water bottles. We of Garbage Island will happily accept your trash. Every little piece of plastic means another chunk of farmland, another piece of our floating, garbagey empire.
Photo: The colonisation of Garbage Island. It will be like this, but with, you know, more garbage.