MR.ANAKED / SHUTTERSTOCK
SAN FRANCISCO – The problem of plastic pollution in the ocean is even worse than anyone feared. Tiny broken up pieces of plastic – microplastic – aren’t just floating at the water’s surface but are pervasive down thousands of feet. There’s actually more microplastic 1,000 feet down than there is in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, research published Thursday found.
“We didn’t think there would be four times as much plastic floating at depth than at the surface,” said Kyle Van Houtan, chief scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
He’s one of the authors of the study published in this week’s edition of Scientific Reports from the journal Nature that investigated just how much plastic there is in the ocean’s depths.
Literally tons of plastic trash wash down rivers and out to sea each day, fouling the surface and endangering sea life. It’s long been believed that most of it floated. But when the researchers looked deep below the surface, they found tiny broken-down plastic pieces, smaller than rice grains, wherever they looked. SOURCE