http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/10/19/SS6JS8RH0.DTL&feed=rss.news (There was a link of the Yahoo home page today of a piece they did on the news... however I can't seem to get a URL from that. It may still on there for a little while longer though.) This is horrfying!!!! It weighs 3 1/2 MILLION TONS and is TWICE THE SIZE OF TEXAS!!!!!!!!!!! Apparently 80% of the plastic in this floating dump is PLASTIC and originated from land and also boats (what the hell are people doing throwing their trash off their boat? idiots!!) It has been CATASTROPHIC for marine wildlife... birds and turles.. who think floating plastic bags are jellyfish. This is caused by our GROWING DEPENDENCE ON PLASTIC. I have visions of a future where plastic will just take over the world.. the oceans will be choked with it, waterways will be completely choked with it (many already are)... the ground everywhere will be littered and we will be wading through plastic trash all over the gound up to our knees. Bits of degrading plastic will be everywhere.. in the soil, in the trees, in our bodies. Crazy, you say?? Well, we are actually going in that direction. I definitely have been thinking about plastic for a while... I try NOT to buy things with a lot of packaging. And if a clerk wants to give me a plastic bag for one or 2 things.. I say, 'no thanks,, keep it'-- we are so used to just taking it without even thinking. And I have started bringing my own cloth bags to carry stuff. Also by going to farmer's markets (or growing some of your own food) you are reducing the amount of food packaging you consume. However our computers are made out of plastic, and that is hard to avoid.. but we have to start somewhere. I also am NOT a fan of the 'convenience store drink phenomenon'... which is what I call our insane dependence on plastic bottle drinks.. which are EVERYWHERE... you can barely go 3 feet without encountering a vending machine or a store that sells sodas, bottles water, etc.. now COME ON. Our ancestors survived for centuries without these. Are we really gonna die of starvation or thirst if we don't have a vending machine, or soda/water in a plastic bottle, on every corner, in every school, etc......? It's all advertising. JUST SAY NO! In fact I used to drink bottled water (and recycled the bottles at least).. but I now am unhappy with that. I am getting a Brita filter on my faucet and am switching to good old tap water. (horrors!) I do love Gerolsteiner though, which is in a glass bottle.. but it's from Germany,, so they use petrochemicals to get it across the ocean.... *sigh*.... These days it's an endless search to do less damage.. since the companies that sell products to us DO NOT CARE.. they only care about profits!! SO, as always,, it's up to us to vote with our choices and our dollars!