Their study found 1,000 different types of bacteria on ocean plastic samples, including plants, algae, autotrophs, and predators. They warn that plastic is also serving as a new kind of transportation for potentially harmful bacteria looking to hitch a ride across the ocean.
It’s no secret that the world’s ocean trash problem is getting bad; looking at a handful of images from the Texas-sized Pacific garbage patch should be enough to convince anyone. As for all of our litter that doesn’t end up in the middle of the ocean? It often stays close to shore, where volunteers for Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup pick some of it up, cataloging all the items they find.