Great Pacific Garbage Patch Floats On
The plastic that makes up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch floats and coagulates, pushed along by the North Pacific Gyre, an ocean region that is prone to plastic collection due to its water flows. Microplastics are estimated to make up about 95 percent of the plastic mass. A sizeable amount of ocean microplastics come from synthetic textiles, such as rayon or nylon, and car tires.
The famous plastic collection gained notoriety earlier this summer when a French anti-plastic activist began a six-month swim from Japan to California—routing himself toward the heart of the heap—to protest plastics and trash that end up in the ocean.
This chart shows the composition and size of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.