We’ve all observed the impact of our plastic dependency. It’s hard to pass over the ironic images of whales and sea birds that have died with their stomachs filled with solidified fossil fuels.
The latest discovery of a plastic bag in the Mariana Trench, at over 10,000 meters under the sea bed, reminds us of the intensity of our downside. Now, the breadth is increasing too. New analysis means that chemical compounds filtering from the bags and bottles that pepper our seas are wrecking little marine life that is important to sustain human lifestyles.
Once the plastic waste is out in the open, waves, wind and daylight cause it to wreck into smaller pieces, this fragmentation procedure releases chemical components, introduced initially to imbue desirable qualities similar to rigidity, flexibility, resistance to flames or microorganism, or a natural splash of color. Analysis has proven that the presence of those chemical compounds in freshwater and drinking water may have severe results, starting from reduced reproduction rates and egg hatching in fish, to hormone imbalances, lowered fertility or infertility, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer in people.
However, little or no research has checked out how those components may affect life in our oceans. To determine, researchers at Macquarie University prepared seawater infected with differing strengths of chemical substances leached from plastic luggage and PVC, two of the most typical plastics on the planet.
They then measured how residing in such water affected the most considerable photosynthesizing organism on Earth – Prochlorococcus. In addition to being an essential foundation of the oceanic meals chain, they produce 10% of the planet’s oxygen.