The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also described as the Pacific Trash Vortex, is a gyre of marine debris in the central North Pacific Ocean. The patch extends over an indeterminate area, with estimates ranging very widely depending on the degree of plastic concentration used to define the affected area.
_ The Great Pacific Garbage Patch has sometimes been described as a “trash island,” but that’s a misconception, says Holly Bamford, director of NOAA’s Marine Debris Program. If only things were that simple. “We could just go out there and scoop up an island,” Bamford says. “If it was one big mass, it would make our jobs a whole lot easier.” Instead, it’s like a galaxy of garbage, populated by billions of smaller trash islands that may be hidden underwater or spread out over many miles. That can make it maddeningly difficult to study — Bamford says we still don’t know how big the garbage patch is, despite the oft-cited claim that it’s as big as Texas._
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch was the inspiration for the Plastic Fish Tower, an orb-like underwater skyscraper which merited a honorable mention in eVolo’s 2012 skyscraper competition. The spherical structure was designed by the South Korean team of Kim Hongseop, Cho Hyunbeom, Yoom Sunhee and Yoom Hyungsoo, and it’s more than just a cool-looking futuristic building – it’s designed to suck in plastic from the massive pacific garbage patch and reprocess it, helping to slowly clear the debris which currently spans a whopping 8.1% of the sea.
Inside the structure, the pellets would be recycled into small sheets of plastic, which would later be used to help build fish farms. The Plastic Fish Tower would not only recycle and remove plastic pollution from the world’s waters, it would use the same pollutants to help rebuild the fragile ecosystem beneath the GPGP as the plastic could also help keep the structure buoyant.