The environment is in grave danger from plastic products that wind up in the oceans and the latest find of a three decades old plastic bag at a depth of 36,000ft is a matter of concern. Plastic is a non-biodegradable product and will continue to endanger aquatic life for hundreds of years. This plastic bag was just one of more than 3000 pieces of such debris found at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench.

The Telegraph UK reports that plastic pollution is a global problem and several international teams are working in different parts of the world to collect data on the amount of plastic lying at the bottom of the oceans.

The teams are making use of the latest technology to carry out their research.

The matter is serious

A preliminary study of the items retrieved from the ocean bed revealed that one third were micro-plastic and nearly 90 percent were single-use products. Details have been published in the journal Marine Policy. A critical observation has been made noting that man-made activities like deep-sea trawling, mining, and infrastructure development are just a few factors that have disturbed the ecosystems in the deep seas.

Apart from plastic, other wastes include metal, rubber, fishing gear, glass and an assortment of other man-made items. Obviously, man must take the blame and responsibility, and turn his attention to reversing this trend.

Plastic is a threat to marine life

There have been innumerable instances of marine animals falling prey to plastic that ends up in the oceans. Turtles get entangled in plastic bags, and many birds mistake them for edible substances and choke to death. The incident of a sperm whale that washed up on a Spanish beach is still fresh in memory.

It happened in February. The Independent UK reported that the whale had ingested 29 kilograms of plastic consisting of bags, fragments of nets and ropes and a jerry can.

Man cannot evade the responsibility for all such deaths. Countries the world over have realized the harmful effect, of plastic pollution, at damaging the environment and disturbing the ecological balance.

People are being encouraged to go plastic free and dispense with one-time use plastic products in attempts at putting this menace in check before it's too late. Some countries have introduced charges for plastic grocery bags, others have decided to make straws optional. There are also systems introduced to refund deposits of plastic cold drink bottles. All of this will help the cause. The bottom line is clear - plastic must go if the planet is to survive.