It’s not new news that plastic pollution presents a large problem for the ocean—but there’s probably no more potent symbol of this threat than a plastic bag being found in the deepest part of the ocean.
Scientists have found plastic bags littering the bottom of the Mariana Trench more than 7 miles underneath the ocean’s surface. The pollution is ubiquitous even at depths of 6,000 meters and 92 percent are single use products, according to a report from Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and the United Nations. While pollution near the surface of the ocean can be seen by topside observers and divers, the research highlights the threats in the deep sea.
"With their slow growth rate and endemic distribution, recovery of deep-sea ecosystems will be difficult once they are severely damaged," says Sanae Chiba, lead author of the published research.
Humanity has only seen five percent of the ocean, so there’s a high chance plastic pollution is wider spread than documented. Check out the full report for a sobering look at plastic in the ocean.
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