May 10, 2011

Scientists discover ocean organisms that eat plastic waste

Evaluating plastic debris in the North Atlantic Ocean’s Sargasso Sea, where the material tends to accumulate due to currents, researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, USA discovered via electron microscopes the presence of bacteria in the plastic.

These microorganisms appear to live in pits in the plastic and feed on it as well, while at the same time, do not appear in the surrounding seaweed or sea water. Their presence may help explain why the amount of plastic in the ocean appears not to be growing. The researchers plan further studies to determine if consumption of the plastic toxins causes any challenges further up the food chain.

Our appreciation, Woods Hole scientists for sharing the discovery of these beneficial microbes. Let us act in harmony with such a marvelous gift from nature to return the Earth to a more pristine and sustainable state.

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