While scientists have acknowledged the existence of billions of pounds of plastic containers, Styrofoam, and similar waste have created massive oceanic trash vortexes (floating islands of garbage), little is known of the effects of the dissolution of these materials into the water.
Recent studies have found that under certain climate conditions, ocean plastic can decompose in under a year, leaching potentially toxic chemicals into the water.
At a meeting of the American Chemical Society, marine chemist Katsuhiko Saido explained, “Most people in the world believe that this plastic is indestructible for a very long time. We are now concerned that plastic pollution is caused by invisible materials. This will have a great effect on marine life.”
Chemical analysis of ocean water samples from United States, Japan, India, Europe and other locations all indicate traces of plastic degradation chemical byproducts not found in nature.