Plastic debris plumbs new depths, spurring action

Plastic pollution has reached the deepest place on Earth.

Plastic pollution has reached the deepest place on Earth.

In late 2018, researchers tested the water in the lowest point in the deepest part of the Pacific, the Mariana Trench, and found the highest level of plastic contamination ever observed in the open ocean. In response, Environment America and our national network reached out to our members and supporters, urging them to call on the governors of their home states to support bans on one of the worst forms of plastic pollution: single-use containers made of polystyrene, commonly called Styrofoam.

“Plastics in the deepest depths of the ocean should tell us that our plastics problem has gone too far,” said Steve Blackledge, senior director of our national network’s conservation program. “The solution is simple: We have to stop using this stuff, beginning with polystyrene.”

Around the country, hundreds of thousands of our supporters have joined our call on governors to ban polystyrene containers.

Read more about plastics in the Mariana Trench.

Photo: Microplastics like these have been found in the deepest place on Earth, the Mariana Trench. Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

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Tim Rains / NPS | Public Domain

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