Researchers have published in the journal Nature Communications that they have found the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to be a giant floating ecosystem.
They located small marine life on a vast 90% of samples.
Interestingly, a significant number of the species found by scientists are ones typically associated with coastal environments. This has led scientists to be concerned that these debris patches may be a vector for transporting invasive species worldwide.
Commenting on their findings, Dr. Linsey Haram, the lead researcher, stated:
“Plastics are more permanent than many of the natural debris that you previously have seen in the open ocean. They’re creating a more permanent habitat in this area. We want to get a handle on how plastics may be a transport for invasive species to coasts.”