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Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Airplane Search Sheds Light On Massive Marine Pollution

Captain Charles Moore retrieves plastic debris from the ocean in September 2007. (Algalita Marine Research Institute)

Captain Charles Moore retrieves plastic debris from the ocean in September 2007. (Algalita Marine Research Institute)

A wrinkle in the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been the mistaking of garbage on the surface of the ocean for possible airplane debris.

The spotting of garbage should come as no surprise. It covers a large segment of the world’s oceans.

Captain Charles Moore has been studying the problem for years. He’s conducted sampling for plastic fragments through more than 40,000 miles of the North Pacific Ocean.

“The ocean is truly a plastic soup, and what we’re calling the croutons are these things that the searchers are finding,” he tells Here & Now’s Robin Young from his home in Long Beach, California.

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