Travel PSA : My 90th country is going to be the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”

“I’m going to be the first Trinidadian to visit “Garbage Patch” … Travel is all cool and stuff, but sometimes one’s travel will take them to places that never once existed. Magical lands of fairies, superheroes and diapers. In my first public service announcement, I’d like to announce that I’m going to be the first Trinidadian to visit “Garbage Patch” … and no I’m not talking about some poorer regions of Trinidad (Trinidadians … Save your indignation now). However, did you know that there are 5 provinces/states of Garbage Patch. I didn’t know this … but it is an awesome way to increase your country count. I think the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) will be my first garbage province.

BTW, this isn’t an April’s Fool joke … as ridiculous as it sounds, it’s a 100% real phenomenon – but don’t ask the cruise ships that pump about 20% of the shit in the sea.

Meet Garbage Patch, the newest country in the world.

It is made of trash, is as large as maybe even Texas and is in the middle of the ocean. Oh, and it’s severely under-populated. Actually, no one lives in Garbage Patch, no man, no animal.

Okay, Garbage Patch is not really a country but to focus on monumental examples of man-made pollution, the United Nations’ cultural and science agency UNESCO will designate the conglomerations of rubbish a veritable territory of its own.

And so on April 11, the world will welcome a new ‘state” to be named Garbage Patch, reports La Stampa, the Italian paper.

“Garbage Patch comprises five areas of man-made rubbish in the seas: North Pacific, South Pacific, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, and Indian Ocean. The largest, discovered in 2009, is called the Great Garbage Patch or the Pacific Trash Vortex. Marine currents bring the rubbish together, swirling to the surface. The garbage gets broken down, thanks to photo degradation, into smaller and smaller pieces that are consumed by marine life, reentering the food chain,” says the La Stampa report.

Italian architect Maria Cristina Finucci has reportedly led the effort to get the UNESCO state designation. The official Facebook page declares that Garbage Patch will be a federal state with a population of 36,939 — tonnes of garbage.

Oh, its flag will be blue, like the oceans it pollutes.

“I found out about the tragic islands made of plastic, but they were treated lightly by the scientific community,” Finucci told La Stampa.

Finucci believes that in creating a state, people will become more aware.

“The only thing we can do now is to stop them from getting bigger,” she said.

Garbage Patch’s inauguration ceremony will not take place on any of the islands but at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris. There will be bottle caps on the floor, plastic bags all over and the sound of waves in the background.

Quite fitting.

Here is another fantastic link on Garbage Patch … When you read this stuff, it makes you want to stop eating sushi or any seafood for the rest of your life … since each fish you eat, could basically be a living floating Bisphenol A reservoir – wouldn’t that be super tasty?

Here’s 5 more articles from MNN – that you can read in your spare time.  I’m not saying to go out and make a difference – that’s way too hard and super expensive … you could use that money to go to Bhutan or Norway … you’ll need a billion dollars to travel to those places – but information on our newest country isn’t the worst thing you can have. As a Trinidadian, I don’t even need a visa to visit Garbage Patch and all the provinces.

For my good deed today, I’m going to buy a copy of this movie. Ok, I’m not … I’m totally going to download it, but my heart is in the right place, but I guess I’ll have to strike the Midway Islands off my list … since it has no Sheratons and there is the dead albatross thing going on.


About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at

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