A sunset viewed from Kure Atoll, located near Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. An atoll is an island of coral that encircles a lagoon partially or completely. Image credit: Robert Schwemmer, NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries
The "garbage patch" is a popular name for concentrations of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean. While this phrase is popularly used, it does not paint an accurate picture of the marine debris problem in this region.