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Plastic bag among 3,500 pieces of debris found at the deepest point in the ocean

Thousands of fragments found on the sea bed

Saturday 12 May 2018 11:14 BST
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A discarded plastic bag floats at the surface of the sea
A discarded plastic bag floats at the surface of the sea (Getty)

Plastic and other pieces of debris have been found in the deepest parts of the ocean, according to a new study.

A single-use plastic bag was among the 3,500 fragments discovered at a depth of 10,898 metres.

More than one third of what was found was macroplastic – visible pieces of plastic larger than 5mm.

Almost 90 per cent of these were single-use plastics, according to the new study produced by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).

The research only includes the items that were sitting on the sea floor, not what is floating above it, therefore demonstrating the deepest evidence of the ocean’s pollution problem.

"As the deep sea is likely to be the final destination of floating plastic debris, the frequent occurrence and widespread distribution of plastic debris in the deep sea, far away from populated coastal areas, indicate that large numbers of plastic debris pieces are distributed throughout the water column and in the high seas," the researchers said.

Nearly 600 pieces of debris that were found deep-sea organisms were observed interacting with the item – providing further evidence that human pollution was interfering with ocean life.

The researchers have called on regulation on the production of single-use plastic to stop the problem becoming worse, the Science Alert website reported.

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