Today Americans discard about 33.6 million tons of plastic each year, but only 6.5 percent of it is recycled and 7.7 percent is combusted in waste-to-energy facilities. What happens to all the rest of it?
As the mid-Pacific trash island grows, forces are at work to change people’s minds about how they may be adding to it.
“Humanity’s plastic footprint is probably more dangerous than its carbon footprint,” said Captain Charles Moore, who, in 1997, discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Its name is misleading because the huge expanse of floating marine debris is actually more like a soup of confetti-sized plastic bits, produced by the runoff of our throwaway lifestyle that [...]