Researcher warns: "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" is out of control - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Researcher warns: "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" is out of control

Charles Moore Charles Moore

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - An environmental warning tonight from the man who discovered a vortex of plastic trash floating in the Pacific Ocean. It's twice the size of Texas, and still growing.

Charles Moore spoke at the state capitol Wednesday evening to send a message about what's known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

He says it's grown out of control, and if nothing is done, more marine life will die.

On the island of Hawaii, scientists are already seeing the consequences.

A piece of plastic chewed up by a shark, plastic bottles melted by Pele, creating fumes that add to vog, granules of plastic sand up to a foot deep, and dead albatross with plastic found in their bodies - all are warning signs of a growing toxic problem swirling in the Pacific Ocean, and washing up on Kamilo Beach on the Big Island, also known as 'Plastic Beach'.

"We're concerned that this is a death nell for many species in the marine environment," said Moore.

Moore discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 1997 while sailing in the Trans Pacific Yacht Race to Hawaii. Since then, the sea captain says the plastic pollution pit has more than quadrupled.

"It has accelerated and it is out of control. And we must control it. That's the solution. We must control it. We must keep the plastic on land. Only the ocean herself can spit it out and she can't spit it out if we keep putting it in," he said.

Moore says the plastic problem has become so severe, there's 46 times more plastic as there is plankton.

He says only 1% of the synthetic trash littered along the Big Island's south shore is generated from Hawaii.

The rest, he says, comes from Asia and Central America.

"The longer it's in the ocean, the more toxic it becomes," said Moore.

The only solution, Moore says, is to launch a movement on an international level, and put an end to this plastic poison killing marine life.

Moore will speak again Thursday at Hanauma Bay.

It's all part of Marine Debris Awareness Month.

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