It’s crazy to know the amount of pollution that ends up in our oceans, and it’s EVEN crazier to know even if we stopped using plastic right now… the pollution in our ocean would still exist for hundreds of years! 😱
So what can we do… well the first step is to understand the problem to craft a solution. Take a look at this article we’ve found.
Plastic waste has officially reached the deepest levels of the world’s oceans, which are now being dubbed as the ultimate sinks for pollution. Scientists discovered organisms that had ingested microplastics at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, which descends over 6,000 meters.
The Royal Society Open Science journal published the findings of the study, concluding that all marine environments have now been affected by plastic waste. Many of these microplastics come from substances that do not biodegrade quickly and make their way to the ocean via landfills. Once they reach the ocean the plastics break down even further and float to the bottom.
Scientist captured creatures from six different locations deep on the ocean floor. The researchers examined organisms from the Japan trench, Mariana trench, Izu-Bonin trench, Peru-Chile trench, and the New Hebrides and Kermadec trenches. Microplastics were discovered in all six locations.
Some of the plastics that were ingested included lyocell, ramie, polyvinyl, rayon, and polyethylene. The deeper the scientists looked, the more contamination they found. This is largely due to the fact that the waste has nowhere to go once it reaches the bottom of the ocean and cannot be flushed out.
“It is intuitive that the ultimate sink for this debris, in whatever size, is the deep sea,” the study concluded.
It is unclear how much these microplastics are harming deep-sea ecosystems. Scientists believe the waste is more harmful at lower depths because organisms that thrive in these environments often eat whatever they come across.
While scientist continues to do more studies, researchers admitted that it is depressing finding so much plastic waste in a place where humans have such little contact yet are making the biggest impact.