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Home>>Sci-Edu >> Others
16:14, May 27, 2009

Scientist to explore "plastic vortex" in the Pacific Ocean (2)

Efforts being made to clean up the waste

It is estimated that 100 million tons of plastic products are produced annually around the world, including 10 percent that end up in their "final destination" of the ocean. This "vortex" of the Pacific Ocean has thus become a "waste yard" with the highest density of waste.

Reporters learned that this expedition team will set out on a round-trip excursion from San Francisco to Hawaii next month. The excursion is expected to take 50 days and will go through the "plastic vortex" twice.

This expedition team will use the "Kaisei" ship, which is about 45 meters in height and will be accompanied by a fishery ship. Researchers will use equipment on the ship to salvage waste while avoiding damage on marine lives as much as possible.

Turtles devouring fragments of plastic bags

The scientists estimate that the "plastic vortex" is more than 500 nautical miles (926 kilometers) off the west coast of the US, and is about twice the size of Texas.

The expedition aims to learn more about the vortex and determine if the plastic can be cleaned up.

The US and other countries and regions in Asia have been continuously dumping waste in the area during the past 60 years. Some of the waste has been slowly broken down by the sun's rays into smaller particles and have gradually formed into a "plastic vortex" under the influence of the ocean currents.
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