Plastic pollution is causing immense harm to the world’s ecosystems and governments around the world are beginning to curb plastic production in accordance with the United Nations’ Global Goals.
Stories of whales, turtles, and seabirds with guts filled with plastic have become increasingly common.
In the Mariana Trench, the deepest point of the ocean, every single amphipod captured had at least one plastic fiber in its stomach, according to the research published Wednesday in the journal Royal Society Open Science.
Alan Jamieson, the lead author of the report, told the Atlantic that the plastic likely harms the creatures in multiple ways.
If enough plastic is in an animal’s stomach, the creature could mistakenly think it's full and starve to death as a result.
Plastic can also be a magnet for toxic chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, that disrupt the health of animals.
It’s likely that amphipods are similarly harmed by plastic and, if that’s the case, then plastic pollution poses an existential to marine ecosystems. »