Ocean rubbish dump ‘stretches from Hawaii to Japan’

A vast expanse of plastic waste floating in the Pacific Ocean is growing at an alarming rate, the Independent reported scientists as saying on Tuesday, and now covers an area twice the size of the continental United States.

Around 100 million tonnes of flotsam are held in place by swirling underwater currents, the Independent reported American oceanographer
Charles Moore as saying, adding that the "trash vortex" stretches from about 500 nautical miles off the Californian coast, across the
northern Pacific, and almost as far as Japan.

Plastic debris causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds every year, the report said, citing the UN Environment Programme, as well as more than 100,000 marine mammals.

Modern plastics are so durable that 50-year-old objects have been found in the north Pacific dump, the report added.

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