Featured Image Credit: SWNS
By: Sarah Sharkey
Plastic is known to be a huge problem that is facing marine life everywhere. Sometimes we mistakenly think that this plastic problem is limited to a human-occupied coastline. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Even remote islands can have huge amounts of trash accumulate on otherwise pristine shores.
Recently, a young pair of polar bear cubs was spotted playing with a sheet of black plastic. The bears were on a remote Arctic island with few inhabitants, but even it still has to deal with the plastic trash on its shores.
The Norwegian island is part of an archipelago that is approximated halfway between the continent of Europe and the North Pole. The island is hundreds of miles away from the European continent, yet according to researchers, the waters around it were filled with trash.
If not for the penetrating trash, we would generally assume that the Arctic environment in this area was relatively pristine. However, the ever-present trash has led even the most remotes reaches of the plant struggling to deal with plastic and other forms of human trash in the environment.
The two polar bear cubs were spotted by a British research team aboard the Blue Clipper. Unfortunately, they found plastic at every single beach that they surveyed on the expedition into relatively remote areas. The trip was a sad testament to how prevalent trash is in our oceans.
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