Microplastics found to permeate the ocean’s deepest points

One liter of water from the Mariana Trench contains thousands of tiny plastic pieces, according to new research.

BY SARAH GIBBENS

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 6, 2018

LIKE THE FOOD particles that clump together in the middle of a kitchen sink, plastic debris is gathering in the deepest reaches of the ocean.

A new study published in Geochemical Perspectives found evidence of microplastic (plastic smaller than five millimeters) gathering in large quantities in the deepest parts of the oceans, and that could account for “missing” plastic that has stumped scientists to date.

A team of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Science analyzed thirteen regions by looking at previous studies and collecting their own samples. Earlier this year, a plastic bag was found in the deepest reaches of the Mariana Trench, 36,000 feet below the surface. Researchers spotted it while using video to survey the region for plastic debris.

To better understand plastic that can't as easily be spotted, the Chinese researchers analyzed water samples and broke out the amount of microplastic they found in a single liter, about four cups.

Read article at source here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/12/microplastic-pollution-is-found-in-deep-sea/

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