Small plastic waste accumulates far below sea level

Science

The giant path that swims like a large Pacific trash in the sea can only be a landfill.

Divers reportedly noticed plastic bags and candy wrappers as deep as Mariengraben. A study of micro-plasma at various depths off the coast of California showed that these residues were most common a few hundred feet below the surface, scientists reported on June 6 in a scientific report.

Using a remote controlled submarine, the researchers took microplastic samples in Monterey Bay at a depth of five to 1,000 meters. The team also measured contaminants in the intestines of 24 red pelagic crabs and eight filters of mutilated giant larvae, both of which contained microplastic organic particles.

The concentration of 1,000 meters of particles corresponds to a depth of five meters and an average of three particles per cubic meter. Plastics in water from a depth of 200 to 600 meters are more concentrated with 10 to 15 particles per cubic meter.

Chemical analysis of these particles shows that most plastics are used in consumer products such as disposable bottles, packaging and textiles. Plastics for the production of fishing gear, which cause much greater marine pollution, are far less frequent.

Each filter of giant larvae mucus and every pelagic red cancer contains microplastic. These creatures that feed particles can spread contamination to other predator species, from tuna to turtles, said study co-author Anel Choi, a biologist at the Institute of Oceanography “Scripps” in La Jolla, California.

“It is very important that this research be repeated … at different depths and in various regions of the world,” Choi said. A better understanding of the prevalence of microplastification in can help inform about waste surface disposal for cleaning strategies. “I believe you will find that the deep sea can be one of the largest reservoirs of plastic pollution on the planet,” he said.

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