Your NPR news source

A Journey to the Plastic Island

SHARE A Journey to the Plastic Island
A Journey to the Plastic Island

Trash collected while aboard the Junk Raft

During this week's series on trash, we've talked a lot about plastic: its ubiquity in industrial societies and what happens to all the bottle caps, wrappers and bags, once we've tossed them in the garbage can.

Today, we look at plastic in the ocean. In the 1990s, scientists discovered a vast patch of trash—mostly plastic—about a thousand miles off the coast of California. The flotsam was caught in a convergence of ocean currents called the North Pacific Gyre. Marine biologists estimate it's twice the size of Texas, but no one knows for sure.

In June, two marine scientists set sail from the coast of California to explore the garbage patch. Their mode of transport? A raft made entirely out of plastic trash. They chronicled their trip on the blog, Junk Raft.

Joel Paschal was co-captain of the Junk Raft. Jerome spoke to him about his trip on the high seas.

(For more information about marine debris, go to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website.)

More From This Show