US yachtsman Cayard speaks to prevalence of plastic in seas

U.S. yachtsman Paul Cayard says his life on the water has given him a firsthand view of the increase of plastic waste in the world's oceans.

Cayard told The Associated Press at a forum on preserving oceans that over his 50-year sailing life, 40 as a professional, he has witnessed everything from plastic bags caught on racing boats in the high seas to refrigerators and sofas floating in the bay off Rio de Janeiro.

Cayard, 58, said on a recent race from Los Angeles to Hawaii "half the boats had problems with plastic getting stuck on the keel, and they either have to stop and go backward to get it off, or send someone overboard."

While it is frustrating from a racing perspective, he said the bigger issue "is just how bad this is for the planet."