Environment advocate Professor Augustine Mungkaje of the University of PNG revealed that many of the man-made rubbish that are thrown into the sea can still be there after hundreds of years.
He explained that all sea creatures, from the largest to the microscopic organisms, are, at one point or another, swallowing the seawater soup instilled with toxic chemicals from plastic decomposition.
Preventing more plastics from getting into the sea is another huge challenge.
The world is currently producing more than 300 million tons of plastic every year, according to the World Economic Forum.
Professor Mungkaje said more attention is needed and awareness needs to be carried out to people in coastal communities who do not dispose their wastes properly.
“We need to reach out to them and raise awareness on the issue.
“Community leaders, LLGs, districts and provinces need to come up with proper waste management systems for coastal areas,” Professor Mungkaje said.
He made reference to the two places in the Pacific region that suck in plastics and trap them. One is at the east of New Zealand and towards South America and the other is in Hawai’i and further north.
The central part of the garbage patch is estimated to cover a million square kilometres.
Outlying areas are also filling with plastic waste. These cover another 3.5 million square kilometres.
This main island of waste is trapped in a swirling current between California and Hawai’i.
The current is known as the north Pacific gyre. It’s essentially an enormous whirlpool that sucks in plastic particles and traps them at its centre.