The Mariana Trench is in the Pacific Ocean. It is a giant underwater canyon. Far from land, the trench is the deepest point on Earth. It is almost 10,975 meters (36,000 feet) beneath the surface. That is more than seven miles underwater. You might think such a remote spot would be pollution free. You would be wrong. 

 

Scientists have been researching ocean pollution. They studied a collection of underwater photos and videos. The scientists found a plastic bag in the trench. It proved how far and deep plastics pollution has spread.

 

Plastic makes up most ocean trash. Disposable products are the biggest problem. Such items are used once and thrown away. They make up almost 90 percent of plastics pollution. Plastic bags are one example. Straws and water bottles are others. 

 

Another study about plastics pollution concerns ocean scientists as well. Plastic junk is harming marine life. For example, some animals get tangled in plastic. Others swallow it. This pollution can poison them.


Rivers Carry Plastic Into The Sea
 

New research shows plastic junk has spread everywhere. It also lasts for a long time. It may not break down for hundreds of years. Chemicals from plastics can poison ocean waters.

 

Environmental groups are teaching people about the danger. Earth Day events are giving extra attention to plastics pollution. Finding solutions is difficult, though. 

 

Some plastic waste reaches oceans directly. Beach trash can blow into the water, for example. Ships might dump trash overboard. However, most plastics pollution comes from rivers. Rivers carry it from cities to the sea.


Plastic Has Reached Almost Everywhere

Once in the ocean, plastic trash often floats. It may form big patches. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch lays between California and Hawaii. It is the size of Texas. Fishing gear makes up most of it. 

 

The Mariana Trench is a deep, dark place far from land. Scientists are just beginning to learn its secrets. However, they have found it is full of sea life. Coral grows there. Other species include jellyfish and octopus. 

 

Finding the plastic bag in the trench alarmed scientists. It can only mean one thing. Plastics pollution has reached every corner of the globe. It shows the huge effect humans are having on the planet.

 

Plastic Bag Found at the Bottom of World’s Deepest Ocean Trench

A monk seal (Monachus monachus) with a plastic water bottle. Marine animals often mistake plastic items with food.

debris
Noun

remains of something broken or destroyed; waste, or garbage.

entangle
Noun

to tangle or twist together.

Noun

area of the North Pacific Ocean where currents have trapped huge amounts of debris, mostly plastics.

Mariana Trench
Noun

deepest place on Earth, located in the South Pacific Ocean at 11,000 meters (36,198 feet) at its deepest.

Noun

U.S. Department of Commerce agency whose mission is to "understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts; to share that knowledge and information with others, and; to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources."

plastic
Noun

chemical material that can be easily shaped when heated to a high temperature.

Noun

introduction of harmful materials into the environment.

trench
Noun

long, deep depression, either natural or man-made.