Media Watch | Good Morning America Show Us The Pacific Garbage Patch

America and the world are finally waking up to the massive trashing of the oceans. About a year ago, we posted our first story on the problem and since that time, it has been picked up everywhere. First on Oprah and now on Good Morning America. Lets hope all this exposure will mean something. We know we can see the actual surge of traffic to, as the shows are seen in each new country.

Good Morning America: The world’s largest trash dump doesn’t sit on some barren field outside an urban center. It resides thousands of miles from any land  in the Pacific Ocean.

Bottle caps, soap bottles, laundry baskets and shards of plastic are just a few things that float in the ocean’s vastness. Known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the “dump” is composed mainly of plastic, which isn’t biodegradable.

Instead, the plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces in the patch that extends thousands of miles, from California’s coast to China. Charles Moore, who discovered the trash heap by accident in 1997 when he was sailing the Pacific, collects samples of the growing garbage bin. Some of his samples have contained six times more plastic than plankton.

“It is like a minestrone and … a lot of the vegetables are plastic,” said Moore, who stages regular trips to the garbage patch for research.

Video after the jump

good morning america 01 Media Watch | Good Morning America Show Us The Pacific Garbage Patch

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Turning Garbage Into Heat and More

garbage into heat 02 Turning Garbage Into Heat and More

Here’s one from the strange solutions category. Folks in Nairobi, Kenya are cleaning up their slums, putting people to work and providing free cooking and cleaning services by burning garbage. Skeptical? Me, too until I learned more.

The slums around Nairobi, where nearly 60% of the population live, suffer some of the worst living conditions in the world because city government does not recognize them as formal settlements and therefore does not extend any services like water, sewer, or garbage collection. So, what happens to the trash? It gets thrown in the street and nearby watercourses, creating a toxic environment where families wash clothes and children play.

That’s where “Firebox” Francis Gwehonah comes in. The self-taught incinerator man has designed a machine that burns so hot it destroys toxic chemicals that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. The heat from burning the garbage provides free cooking services for neighborhoods and hot water for washing clothes and other sanitation. Long term plans also include purifying drinking water for local residents — a much needed commodity.

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