The Great Patch Trash is Trashier Than Ever - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

The Great Patch Trash is Trashier Than Ever

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"I'm shocked... I'm shocked" said the Captain of Algalita. The 50 foot vessel has been used for research since 1997.

15 years ago Captain Charlie Moore took the boat to sea and discovered what became known the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" in the Northern Pacific. Moore says it was an area about the size of Texas filled with patchy islands of trash and junk. About two months ago he went back for another look. He didn't like what he saw. Now, the stretch of trash, he says, is "more continuous" and the junk in the ocean is worse than it was when he was out there on his initial research voyage.

He points to an area he calls "Buoy Island." It's a bunch of buoys he thinks were pushed out to sea by the 2011 Japanese tsunami.

In video provided by Moore's Algalita Marine Research Foundation we can see how much trash has collected around the buoys from cups to plastic jugs.

The island and trash patch is about 1000 miles north of Los Angeles and between San Francisco and Hawaii. Upon return, he says, companies that deal in plastic and other materials need to consider how they impact the environment.

Next, for Moore and his team, is to offload the "hundreds of samples" they brought back for study. A report on some of the results could be done in about six weeks.


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