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Tags Current Affairs

Large amount of micro-plastics on sea floor

Date: 08 October 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous


The world's sea floor is littered with an estimated 14 million tonnes of microplastics, broken down from the masses of rubbish entering the oceans every year.



The quantity of the tiny pollutants was 25 times greater than previous localised studies had shown, calling it the first global estimate of sea-floor microplastics.



  • Researchers at the agency used a robotic submarine to collect samples from sites up to 3,000 metres deep, off the South Australian coast.

  • The research found that the deep ocean is a sink for microplastics. They were surprised to observe high microplastic loads in such a remote location.

  • Analysis of the 51 samples taken found that there was an average of 1.26 microplastic pieces per gram of sediment. Researchers say that's up to 25 times more microplastics than previous deep-sea studies.

  • The scientists said areas with more floating rubbish generally had more microplastic fragments on the sea floor.

  • Plastic pollution that ends up in the ocean deteriorates and breaks down, ending up as microplastics. The results show microplastics are indeed sinking to the ocean floor.

  • Researchers have called for urgent action to find solutions to marine plastic pollution, which affects ecosystems, wildlife and human health.

  • Government, industry, and the community need to work together to significantly reduce the amount of litter we see along our beaches and in our oceans.

  • Plastic is a persistent pollution that hurts wildlife, the ocean itself and there's growing concern about the potential health risks it poses to humans.

  • The problem is only set to get worse as plastic production and pollution is expected to increase in the coming years.

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