'Great Pacific Garbage Patch' is massive floating island of plastic, now 3 times the size of France

PHOTO: A photo provided by NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center shows debris in Hanauma Bay, Hawaii in 2008. A 2014 study estimated nearly 270,000 tons of plastic is floating in the worlds oceans.PlayNOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center/AP
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A massive floating island of plastic between California and Hawaii is growing rapidly and is now three times the size of France, a new study finds.

PHOTO: A photo provided by NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center shows debris in Hanauma Bay, Hawaii in 2008. A 2014 study estimated nearly 270,000 tons of plastic is floating in the worlds oceans.NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center/AP
A photo provided by NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center shows debris in Hanauma Bay, Hawaii in 2008. A 2014 study estimated nearly 270,000 tons of plastic is floating in the world's oceans.

The giant accumulation of plastic called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch contains at least 79,000 tons discarded plastic, covering an area of about 617,800 square miles (1.6 million square kilometers), according to a study published Thursday in Scientific Reports.

PHOTO: A photo made available by The Ocean Cleanup on March 23, 2018 shows abandoned nets and other plastic garbage being pulled out of the ocean at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), located between halfway between Hawaii and California.The Ocean Cleanup/EPA/Rex via Shutterstock
A photo made available by The Ocean Cleanup on March 23, 2018 shows abandoned nets and other plastic garbage being pulled out of the ocean at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), located between halfway between Hawaii and California.

PHOTO: A photo made available by The Ocean Cleanup on 23 March 2018 shows plastic samples pulled from the ocean at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), located between halfway between Hawaii and California.THE OCEAN CLEANUP HANDOUT/EPA/Rex via Shutterstock
A photo made available by The Ocean Cleanup on 23 March 2018 shows plastic samples pulled from the ocean at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), located between halfway between Hawaii and California.

That is three times the area of France and more than twice the size of Texas.

PHOTO: A black footed albatross chick with plastics in its stomach lies dead on Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Nov. 2, 2014. Midway sits amid a collection of man-made debris called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Dan Clark/USFWS via AP
A black footed albatross chick with plastics in its stomach lies dead on Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Nov. 2, 2014. Midway sits amid a collection of man-made debris called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The study's authors further said, "Our results suggest that ocean plastic pollution within the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is increasing exponentially."

PHOTO: A garbage sample is pulled out of the ocean at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), located between halfway between Hawaii and California, in a photo provided by The Ocean Cleanup on March 23, 2018. The Ocean Cleanup/EPA/Rex via Shutterstock
A garbage sample is pulled out of the ocean at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), located between halfway between Hawaii and California, in a photo provided by The Ocean Cleanup on March 23, 2018.

PHOTO: The Ocean Clean Up North Sea Prototype lies in the water after its unveiling to the press on June 22, 2016 in The Hague, Netherlands. Michel Porro/Getty Images
The Ocean Clean Up North Sea Prototype lies in the water after its unveiling to the press on June 22, 2016 in The Hague, Netherlands.

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