Science Questions

Is there a huge mass of plastic waste in the Pacific?

Sat, 21st Apr 2007

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Question

Charles Buckton asked:

I heard that theres a huge mass of plastic waste in the North West Pacific, is this true?

Answer

Plastic waste is a huge problem.  Researchers working on uninhabited islands often find plastic waste, and often flip-flops!  Some enterprising people in the Seychelles have even started using them to make flip-flop art.

Ocean currents are likely to bring plastic together in certain areas, so there could well be a mass in the N W Pacific.  In fact, shipments of rubber ducks which escaped from damaged tankers have been used to measure ocean currents.

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