Main image via Plastic Collectors + Mothership
There is definitely something to be said about the rate of pollution on Earth and though some of us are taking every measure we can to help save the planet, we’ve all still got a long way to go.
To prove just how bad pollution currently is, scientists have found plastic lying at the bottom of the ocean on the first-ever journey to the world’s third deepest ocean trench.
On a journey that no other human being has ever made, Dr Deo Florence Onda travelled to The Emden Deep, part of the Philippine Trench, which is an unexplored trench that’s part of one of the oldest seabeds on Earth.
The 33-year-old from the University of the Philippines’ Marine Science Institute descended into the trench back in March, alongside Victor Vescovo, an American explorer from undersea technology company Caladan Oceanic.
“If you look at the Philippine Trench, the first description was in the 1950s and then the more detailed one was in the 1970s,” Dr Onda told Channel News Asia. “The technology then was not that goof yet, or accurate. It was an opportunity for us to see what’s happening down there, which has never been seen before.”
Over a 12-hour period, the duo explored the trench and were shocked by what they discovered.
“There was one funny scene when we were exploring the area,” Dr Onda shared. “There was one white material floating around. I was saying, ‘Victor, that’s a jellyfish.’ We went there and approached, and it was just plastic.”
“The only unusual thing there was the garbage. There was a lot of garbage in the trench. There were a lot of plastics, a pair of pants, a shirt, a teddy bear, packaging and a lot of plastic bags. Even me, I did not expect that, and I do research on plastics.”
According to Dr Onda, due to the depth and the pressure of the environment, he believed that plastic waste would appear as small fragments, but “they were so intact as if they just came from the supermarket.”
Victor, his fellow explorer, added that the amount of human debris found in the Emden Deep, that was scattered around in pockets on the seabed, was “pretty extensive”.
Image via Mothership
“Seeing it for the first time was a privilege as a human being, representing 106 million Filipinos and billions of people of the world. But being a witness to the extent of pollution, and being a witness to the gravity of the plastics problem from the surface to the bottom of the ocean, is another thing,” Dr Onda continued.
“It becomes my responsibility to tell people that their garbage doesn’t stay where they put it. It goes somewhere else and it will sink.”
According to Surfers Against Sewage, approximately eight million pieces of plastic pollution ends up in the oceans everyday, with plastics consistently making up 80% of all marine debris studied.
It’s definitely disheartening to hear that there is no place on Earth that’s safe from pollution, even in the deepest parts of the ocean.
Please do your part in helping to save our planet by reducing your plastic usage and being aware of where your trash actually ends up.
One small step can make the biggest difference.
Share this with your loved ones so they can understand just how bad pollution has become in our world.
Info via UNILAD