NBC News

Plastic Trash Found in Deep Sections of Ocean, Researchers Say

A remote vehicle captured a picture of a stray plastic bag in one of the deepest sections of the Mariana Trench — at 35,775 feet beneath the surface

Plastic trash is littering some of the deepest points beneath the Earth's seas, according to a paper released last month by Japanese researchers.

As NBC News reported, the scientists cataloged 3,425 cans, bits of plastic and stray fishing gear captured in photos and videos taken by deep-sea submersibles and remotely operated vehicles, mostly in the Pacific Ocean. The images prove that “the influence of land-based human activities has reached the deepest parts of the ocean in areas more than 1,000 kilometers from the mainland,” the scientists said.

A remote vehicle captured a picture of a stray plastic bag in one of the deepest sections of the Mariana Trench — at 35,775 feet beneath the surface. The Trench stretches for more than 1,500 miles in the far western Pacific Ocean.

The review also found that the majority of humankind’s waste found at 18,000 feet and below comes from so-called “single-use” products — the plastic bags and containers that many communities have begun to outlaw. 

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