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Plastic patch in Pacific Ocean growing rapidly, study shows

Plastic patch in Pacific Ocean growing rapidly, study shows

Science
A collection of plastic afloat in the Pacific Ocean is growing rapidly, according to a new scientific estimate.Predictions suggest a build-up of about 80,000 tonnes of plastic in the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" between California and Hawaii.This figure is up to sixteen times higher than previously reported, say international researchers.One trawl in the centre of the patch had the highest concentration of plastic ever recorded."Plastic concentration is increasing - I think the situation is getting worse," said Laurent Lebreton of The Ocean Cleanup Foundation in Delft, Netherlands, which led the study. "This really highlights the urgency to take action in stopping the in-flow of plastic into the ocean and also taking measures to clean up the existing mess."Waste accumulates in five ocean ...
A mission to the Pacific plastic patch

A mission to the Pacific plastic patch

Science
A mariner who has spent years travelling "hundreds of thousands of nautical miles" to measure the impact of plastic waste in the ocean has estimated that a "raft" of plastic debris spanning more than 965,000 square miles (2.5m sq km) is concentrated in a region of the South Pacific. Capt Charles Moore has just returned from a sampling expedition around Easter Island and Robinson Crusoe Island. He was part of the team which discovered the first ocean "garbage patch" in the North Pacific gyre in 1997 and has now turned his attention to the South Pacific.Although plastic is known to occur in the Southern Hemisphere gyres, very few scientists have visited the region to collect samples.Oceanographer Dr Erik van Sebille, from Utrecht University, says the work of Capt Moore and his colleagues wi...