How Scientists Stumbled Upon Plastic Eating Bacteria

By Trista
How Scientists Stumbled Upon Plastic Eating Bacteria

Ocean pollution is an amalgamation of trash and chemicals, and a majority of these come from various land sources that are blown or washed into the ocean. It poses a severe threat to the environment and the well-being of coral reefs. Ocean pollution is growing at a concerning rate and killing millions of water species. 

This pollution comes primarily from human activities that include dumping farms or fertilizer and chemical waste into the water that choke the ocean life. There has been increased accumulation of harmful chemicals like phosphorus and nitrogen that promotes the development of algal blooms, elements that can be threatening to the presence of both animals and humans. 

Marine waste is a combination of various manufactured products which mostly include plastic that is dumped into the ocean. Storm winds, littering, and inadequate waste management contribute to the combination of the waste. 80% of ocean waste comes from various land sources. 

Plastic bottles make up most of the waste. Shutterstock

1. Plastic is Taking Over the Ocean

A common type of land waste that ends up in the water bodies include beverage bottles, carry bags, cigarette butts, food wrappers, fishing gears, and bottle caps. Plastic has especially become a dangerous pollutant as it takes years to decompose. In fact, a standard plastic bottle can stay in water for around 450 years. The adverse impact of plastic waste in the environment has been vast. 

It has killed wildlife both above and under the water. Millions of sea birds and turtles die every year due to the plastic waste choking their digestive tracts. Thousands of marine animals get tangled in the plastic debris and other waste materials and get injured. 60 to 90% of ocean waste is encompassed by plastic waste, and by 2050 the amount of plastic will surpass the number of fish in the oceans. 

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