- Although Malaysia has now announced that Flight MH370 crashed in the Indian Ocean, ocean debris continues to hinder search efforts for flight remains.
- The trash is a major problem faced by those involved in the search for the missing plane. Crews spotted 80 feet of debris last week, but now speculate that the objects were shipping containers that fell overboard.
- The sheer volume of waste highlighted environmentalist warnings about the impact of floating debris on the ecosystem.
Discarded plastics, plastic bags and general trash from billions of people who live along the world's coasts makes its way into the ocean. These waste materials are estimated to create 270,000 miles of trash, forming massive swirling fields of garbage in the open sea. Estimates for the amount of shipping containers alone that go overboard range from 700 to 10,000 containers per year. Estimates suggest 10 million tons of debris were washed to sea as a result of the 2011 tsunami in Japan. Debris from that natural disaster tossed homes, appliances and trees into the vast ocean.