The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

If your news stream tends towards the mainstream, you may never have heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or GPGP for short. But this is a very real term used in the scientific and climate change communities to refer to “a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean. Also known as the Pacific trash vortex, the garbage patch is actually two distinct collections of debris bounded by the massive North Pacific Subtropical Gyre” according to National Geographic. New data within the last five years has shown that the GPGP is much larger than initially thought. 

What does this have to do with EPS foam? A lot actually. Long time readers of our blog will know that Plymouth Foam, an Altor Solutions Company, believes strongly in a more sustainable world. But we are also working to show the world that banning polystyrene is not the answer. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a great example of why that is. 

To start with, the GPGP is made up of mostly plastic – 99.9% in fact. This is what caused so many restaurants and coffee shops to vow to stop using plastic straws back in 2018. Of course, however much good fewer plastic straws are, this change alone does not stem the tide of garbage flowing into our oceans. The fact is, much of the plastic detritus in the ocean does not come from fast food containers and other “beach trash”, but rather from discarded fishing gear and consumer plastics, such as laundry detergent containers. 

What makes up less than 0.5% of the waste in oceans? Polystyrene. Given all the benefits of using EPS foam, it is important that governments and other environmental organizations understand that EPS foam is not a main contributor to ocean pollution. In fact, by shipping breakable consumer goods in EPS foam, businesses are preventing waste by preventing damaged items from ending up in landfills – or oceans. 

Interested in learning more about the environmental practices of Plymouth Foam, an Altor Solutions company? Check out our sustainability page: ​​