You've heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and probably the Texas-sized concentration of Japanese flotsam headed for the US Pacific Northwest. (That one is to some degree exaggeration - it's not a solid floating mass - but there's a lot of debris on US beaches and a lot more heading out way. According to NOAA, about 1.5 million tons of such debris floated out to sea in the wake of the tsunami.) A messenger from the oceans (albeit a tragic one) was a gray whale that beached and died near Seattle. In the stomach of this bottom-scraping filter feeder were "more than 20 plastic bags, small towels, surgical gloves, sweat pants, plastic pieces, duct tape, and a golf ball." The gray was a male 12 meters long. A biologist commented: "While debris has been found in the stomachs of some previous gray whales found dead in Puget Sound, this appeared to be a larger quantity than had ever been found previously."
It's not just Puget Sound. It's not just the Pacific. It's everywhere, and we have to stop it now.