Second great garbage patch found

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch or Plastic Vortex, a Texas-sized gyre of plastic formed by ocean currents, has been known and well-documented for over a decade. But what about all the plastic in the Atlantic? Researchers are warning of a new blight on the ocean: a swirl of confetti-like plastic debris stretching over thousands of ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch or Plastic Vortex, a Texas-sized gyre of plastic formed by ocean currents, has been known and well-documented for over a decade. But what about all the plastic in the Atlantic?

Researchers are warning of a new blight on the ocean: a swirl of confetti-like plastic debris stretching over thousands of square miles (kilometers) in a remote expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.

The floating garbage - hard to spot from the surface and spun together by a vortex of currents - was documented by two groups of scientists who trawled the sea between scenic Bermuda and Portugal's mid-Atlantic Azores islands.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch or Plastic Vortex, a Texas-sized gyre of plastic formed by ocean currents, has been known and well-documented for over a decade. But what about all the plastic in the Atlantic?

Researchers are warning of a new blight on the ocean: a swirl of confetti-like plastic debris stretching over thousands of square miles (kilometers) in a remote expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.

The floating garbage – hard to spot from the surface and spun together by a vortex of currents – was documented by two groups of scientists who trawled the sea between scenic Bermuda and Portugal’s mid-Atlantic Azores islands.

Similar patches are thought to exist in the South Atlantic and South Pacific oceans. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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