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But, the good news is, an effort to retrieve and recycle the Texas-sized mass of junk will begin in earnest next month. Charles Moore, an oceanographer who discovered the garbage patch in 1997, explains part of the challenge: the nearly microscopic size of much of the plastic rubbish makes it difficult to collect. However, that’s not stopping an expedition of scientists and conservationists from trying to collect the larger pieces.
From the Times Online:
Because of their tiny size and the scale of the problem, he believes that nothing can be solved at sea. “Trying to clean up the Pacific gyre would bankrupt any country and kill wildlife in the nets as it went.”
In June the 151ft brigantine Kaisei (Japanese for Planet Ocean) will unfurl its sails in San Francisco to try to prove Mr Moore wrong. Project Kaisei’s flagship will be joined by a decommissioned fishing trawler armed with specialised nets.