Budget Dumpster has covered a wide variety trash problems involving our oceans. From beaches with more trash than sand to The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, we thought we had a handle on every topic. However as more trash is disposed and technology continues to advance, more of the world’s garbage problems will inevitably rise to the surface. Well not exactly in this case.

When dealing with the ocean, there are always a lot of uncertainty. Although the scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have decided to discover the relatively unknown conditions below the surface of the ocean. Meticulously going through countless hours of video recorded by a variety of devices from the last 20 years, these researchers are now uncovering the true status of trash on the ocean floor in Monterey Bay.

Stretching North to Vancouver Island to the Gulf of California and West to Hawaii, this was area for the study. After 18,000 hours of footage and making 200 dives, the researchers found 1,500 pieces of debris with 1,150 resting on the ocean floor. Of the total amount of trash found one half of the debris are plastic bags.

Plastic Chair at the Bottom of the Ocean

These plastic bags are not only dangerous for animals but are also connecting other debris into large masses. Researchers discovered around 500 individual pieces of debris that was all came together with the help of plastic bags. Besides plastic bags, other common items were various metals, rope and fishing equipment. As divers got deeper in the water, more and more waste was found.

“I was surprised that we saw so much trash in deeper water. We don’t usually think of our daily activities as affecting life two miles deep in the ocean.” A researcher added, “I’m sure that there’s a lot more debris in the canyon that we’re not seeing.

Although there was a presence of fishing gear, after first hand witnessing (most of) the trash the ocean had to offer, researchers hypothesis that a majority of the debris has originated from the land. Even though that seems like a worse problem, trash from people on the shore is easier to prevent from ending up in the ocean.

As the trash sits on the ocean floor for years and years, these items begin to become a part of the Eco-system. Unfortunately, these leads to sea life trapped in the debris and since it does not breakdown more and more are effected. Some debris such as a soda can or plastic bag can last in the depths of the ocean for multiple decades.

Dead Fish in a Shoe

Monterey Bay Researchers have made major strides to increase the awareness of a problem that is below the surface. As these scientist made their dives, they did clean up some of the trash but removing marine debris on a large scale is extremely expensive. This is very unfortunate because a majority of the trash found could have been or could still be recycled.

If technology advances to the point to deliver dumpsters to the ocean floor, Budget Dumpster would be happy to help start removing and properly disposing all of this trash.