After studying six of the ocean’s deepest areas, scientists have discovered that there likely aren’t any marine ecosystems not polluted by plastic.
The human race is doing what is quickly becoming irreparable damage to the planet. It has been doing it for a long time and many continue to turn a blind eye to it. Whether it be via the use of fossil fuels or the dumping of garbage that won’t biodegrade, Earth and pretty much everything on it is in pretty bad shape.
Sticking with that second cause, the widespread use of plastic is one of the most damaging things humans continue to do. Our oceans, in particular, are filled with rubbish we have just discarded since we are finished with it. More and more companies are coming up with and using environmentally friendly plastic substitutes, but new research may indicate that the damage has already been well and truly done.
Researchers studied subsea creatures from six of the deepest points in the ocean, including the Mariana trench, reports The Guardian. The results from all six areas, regardless of where they were in the world, revealed that amphipods (crustaceans that scavenge for food on the ocean floor) had ingested plastic microparticles. If you’re assuming the deeper you go the less of a problem it becomes, that’s where you’d be mistaken.
The same research discovered that the deeper the waters, the more likely it was that sea creatures had ingested plastic. 100% of the samples collected from the Mariana Trench, the lowest point in the world, contained at least one microparticle. That’s down to these areas acting like sinks. Rather than contamination being carried away by a river or washed away by the tide, it just sits there, and the creatures that call it home are ingesting it.
Despite more and more people making a vested effort to cut down on their plastic use, issues like these continue to rear their ugly head. However, what people should not do is simply give up. Just because there is damage done that might be irreversible doesn’t mean we should continue to add to it. Plus who knows, hopefully sometime in the future, we will have the capability to rid our oceans of plastic, even the very deepest points.