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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...