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Location: Pacific Ocean
Size: Approximately 1 to 2 times the size of Texas
Type of garbage: Plastics that float on surface
Health implications: Sea life can eat the plastic or get caught in it and die. Toxins in the garbage can make their way up the food chain to humans. The UN Environment Program estimated in 2006 that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic in every square mile of ocean.
If trash gets dumped in the Pacific, it finds its way to the garbage patch (also called the Great Pacific Trash Vortex) because of the way the currents flow. The floating pile of garbage, north of Hawaii, is the biggest collection of refuse on the planet. The trash is dangerous partly because birds like this albatross can mistakenly feed plastic to their young and kill them.