Invasive species dispersal

Waste provides a habitat for a variety of marine organisms: almost 400 different species have been found living on floating or beached pieces of waste, most of which were plastic. Floating plastic can move great distances in oceans through winds and currents, and end up somewhere far from where it came from. If the organisms carried with the plastic end up in a region where they haven’t previously existed, they can potentially cause drastic changes to the local environment. Species that dominate and alter entire ecosystems on arrival are called invasive species. As more plastic waste enters the sea, the potential and opportunities for invasive species dispersal increases.