The Actual Extent of Plastic Pollution in the Pacific Ocean | Datasketch
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The Actual Extent of Plastic Pollution in the Pacific Ocean

In the Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and California, a vast expanse of trash known as the Plastic Continent has formed, covering an area of 1.6 million square kilometers. To put this into perspective, this area is equivalent to combining the Latin American countries of Chile, Paraguay, Ecuador, and Surinam.

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According to The Ocean Cleanup organization, there is a massive garbage patch drifting in the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and California, covering an approximate area of 1.6 million square kilometers. It contains over 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic, weighing approximately 80,000 tons. This is roughly equivalent to 250 pieces of trash for every person on Earth.

The image, extracted from Ocean Cleanup, provides a visualization of the garbage concentration.

Based on this research, it can be deduced that the approximate size of this patch could be compared to the geographical areas of various countries around the world, such as Chile (755,934 km²), Paraguay (406,750 km²), Ecuador (283,561 km²), and Surinam (163,820 km²), all concentrated in a single location.

This graphic was created using Datasketch Apps. You can start making your own charts by visiting

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