The trash has been traveling to these areas since World War II when people began manufacturing, using, and throwing out plastics on a large scale. Sources of the trash include sea vessels like cruise ships, freighters, and fishing boats. The garbage also comes from shorelines and waterways that feed into the ocean. Although the United States does contribute a big portion of the waste, the ocean currents pick up items from all over the world. Once in the ocean, a piece of garbage travels along the currents until it reaches the gyre. Some of the items wash up on shores around the world leading to trash covered beaches.
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