Tucson city councilman Paul Cunningham isn't worried about the potholes, lack of jobs and bad economy in Tucson. He's continuing his war on plastic bags and lied about the damage plastic bags cause. This is what he wrote in his news letter:
Some of you have heard of the so-called “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” It’s a gigantic island of plastic garbage in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The lowest estimates put its mass at 100 million tons and its size at 270,000 square miles, about the size of Texas.
Too bad this is what is what the NOAA says:
De-mystifying the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch"
What are the “garbage patches”?
The “garbage patch,” as referred to in the media, is an area of marine debris concentration in the North Pacific Ocean. The name “garbage patch” has led many to believe that this area is a large and continuous patch of easily visible marine debris items such as bottles and other litter—akin to a literal blanket of trash that should be visible with satellite or aerial photographs. This is simply not true. While litter items can be found in this area, along with other debris such as derelict fishing nets, much of the debris mentioned in the media these days refers to small bits of floatable plastic debris. These plastic pieces are quite small and not immediately evident to the naked eye.
What’s in a name? - The name “garbage patch” is a misnomer. There is no island of trash forming in the middle of the ocean nor a blanket of trash that can be seen with satellite or aerial photographs. This is likely because much of the debris found here is small bits of floating plastic not easily seen from a boat.
And when it comes to the size of this wrongly named garbage patch, Cunningham lied:
The reported size and mass of these "patches" have differed from media article to article. Due to the limited sample size, as well as a tendency for observing ships to explore only areas thought to concentrate debris, there is really no accurate estimate on the size or mass of the “garbage patch” or any other concentrations of marine debris in the open ocean. Additionally, many oceanographic features do not have distinct boundaries or a permanent extent, and thus the amount of marine debris (both number and weight) in this zone would be very difficult to measure accurately. The “patchiness” of debris in this expansive area would make a statistically sound survey quite labor-intensive and likely expensive.
And if you're wondering, paper bags aren't better. They're worse.