Plankton

Plankton, or phytoplankton, act as the lungs of the ocean”. They produce oxygen facilitating for ocean health, and convert sunlight into foodstuffs, creating the basic building block for other marine creatures. Plankton attach themselves to microplastics, which creates a several issues. Firstly, this causes de-oxygenation, which occurs as the plastic blocks sunlight from getting to the plankton, killing the plankton and preventing photosynthesis and the production of oxygen from taking place. Secondly, this contributes to the depletion of food, as plankton serves as a vital food source for all marine species. Thirdly, this contaminates marine animals, because when they consume plastic particles, they are often also consuming the chemicals that attach themselves to plastic (see definition for ingestion).