This continent is very different from Africa, America, Antarctica, Asia, Europe and Oceania! It wasn’t formed millions of years ago but only a few decades ago. How? Because of waste produced by human activity!
That’s right, it’s a continent of floating waste, polluting the oceans.
Garbage is carried by rivers, or comes from beaches and boats. It’s held together by giant circular currents called gyres, in the North Pacific, the South Pacific, the North Atlantic, the South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. The 8th continent is therefore 5 gigantic garbage patches also called plastic soup!
In 1997, racing boat captain Charles Moore discovered the North Pacific patch by accident. It has since become urgent to measure the effects of this pollution, deadly for animals, fish and birds, who swallow plastic thinking it’s plankton.
So can this troublesome continent de cleared up?
It must be monitored: that’s the aim of the 7th continent expedition exploring the 5 ocean gyres. Cleaning the oceans could start with the giant cleanup array invented by Boyan Slat, ready to function in late 2017! But according to Charles Moore, in the future, plastic should be limited to objects that last. Because, for the planet, plastic is not fantastic. A plastic bottle takes 450 years to break up… So on 3 July, international plastic bag free day, say “no thanks” to plastic bags!