The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Plastic Bag Found at the Bottom of the World's Deepest Waters
Man-made trash has sunk to new depths. A recent paper published in the journal Marine Policy details the staggering amount of plastic and other debris found at the bottom of the world's deepest ocean trench.
At least 3,000 pieces of litter, with some dating back 30 years, can be found in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench.
This information was obtained by researchers combing through the Deep-sea Debris Database operated by the Global Oceanographic Data Centre of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).
This vast online catalogue, which launched for public use in March 2017, contains photos and videos of debris collected by deep-sea submersibles and remotely operated vehicles from more than 5,000 dives.
According to the paper, authored by JAMSTEC researchers, more than 33 percent of the observed debris is macro-plastic, of which 89 percent was single-use products. The deepest record is a plastic bag at 36,000 feet in the Mariana Trench.
Unfortunately, the researchers observed how some of this plastic has impacted marine life on the ocean floor.
"Deep-sea organisms were observed in the 17 percent of plastic debris images, which include entanglement of plastic bags on chemosynthetic cold seep communities," the study authors wrote.
Other types of waste that can be found at such oceanic depths include metal, rubber, fishing gear, glass and other man-made items.
"The data show that, in addition to resource exploitation and industrial development, the influence of land-based human activities has reached the deepest parts of the ocean in areas more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from the mainland," the authors noted.
In the video below, JAMSTEC's executive director for science Yoshihisa Shirayama explains how plastic in the ocean and climate change are noticeable examples of humanity's negative environmental footprint.
He suggested limiting the immense amount of plastics that enter our waters as well as limiting carbon dioxide emissions to help fight ocean acidification.
"Anything we can do for the good of the environment will also help the deep sea environment and deep sea creatures," Shirayama concluded.
- 'Extraordinary' levels of pollutants found in 10km deep Mariana trench ›
- Creepy doll lurking in this deep-sea trash heap just wants to say hi ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.