By Rob Waugh
10 May 2018
Divers have found a plastic bag lying 36,000ft below the surface of the Pacific, in the Mariana Trench, the deepest point in the world’s oceans.
The new find was highlighted among 30,000 pieces of man-made debris seen in the deep ocean, including plastic bags, bottles and packaging.
The plastic bag in the Mariana Trench was found the equivalent of 33 Eiffel Towers beneath the surface, highlighting the horrifying reach of plastic pollution.
The deeper divers went on 5,000 international dives, the bigger a percentage of plastic was found among the debris.
Over a third of the debris was micro-plastic, with 89% from single-use products such as plastic bottles.
Asda is among the 42 firms that have signed up to a pact that aims to tackle plastic pollution (AFP Photo/Justin TALLIS)
The UN’s Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge (UNEWCMC) said, ‘Deep-sea ecosystems are highly specific to the region they are found in and have a very slow growth rate, making the potential threats from plastic pollution are concerning.
‘There is growing concern that deep-sea ecosystems are already being damaged by direct exploitation of both biological and non-biological resources – through deep-sea trawling, mining and infrastructure development, for example.’