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Scientists Duo discovered plastic in the depths of the third deepest Ocean Trench

Posted By : Abhijeet Singh   |   Date : Jun 29 2021 7:08 AM

Scientists Duo discovered plastic in the depths of the third deepest Ocean Trench

Plastic is the most widely used material on Earth. And probably, beyond! With that said, plastic can be found, unfortunately, everywhere!

In a recently held, Ocean Exploratory Programme, a team of Scientists dived, for the first time, to the Third Deepest Ocean Trench in the world. Apart from the rare deep blue-dwelling life forms, the scientists found something unexpected at the bottom of the ocean, plastic. 

The Plastic in the Ocean!

Every year, at least 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Floating plastic waste is the most common type of marine litter right now.

From Plastics to Microplastics

Apart from the visible chunk of plastic waste found on the surface of the ocean, there is another form of the plastic problem, slightly or not visible at all to the naked eye, that has become evident in the last 4-5 years. It’s called Microplastics. Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic ranging in size between 1nm to 5mm. 

Microplastics are formed under the influence of sunlight, wind, water currents, and other natural factors, causing large plastics to break down into tiny fragments of plastics, called microplastics.

Microplastics have severe repercussions for marine life and human health, not to mention the fact that the plastic may never be able to be removed from the large water bodies.

The Ocean Exploration Programme, which unveiled new threads of ocean plastic pollution, was executed by a scientist duo named Dr. Deo Florence Onda, and Victor Vescova.

Dr. Deo Florence Onda, a Filipino Microbial Oceanographer, was taken aback when he discovered plastic during his first trip to the world's third deepest ocean trench. Victor Vescova, an American Explorer, together with Dr. Onda went on exploring the trench over 12 hours.

In a conversation with Channel News Asia, Dr. Onda declared that he encountered a funny moment while exploring the ocean depths. "There was one white material floating around. I was saying, ‘Victor, that’s a jellyfish.’ We went there and approached, and it was just plastic."

A large amount of research and innovation should be funded to effectively combat the problem of marine plastics. Manufacturers, consumers, and policymakers would benefit from a complete understanding of plastic pollution and its effects, as well as the scientific evidence needed to drive suitable technology, behavioural, and legislative responses. It would also hasten the development of new technology, materials, or products to take the place of plastics.

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