photo of Alice Zhu

Xia (Alice) Zhu

PhD Candidate
University of Toronto

Plastics in the deep sea – the ocean floor reservoir

The ocean floor is suspected to be a permanent resting place, or sink, of plastic pollution, yet its importance has not yet been quantified. The amount and distribution of plastic pollution in the deep ocean dictates the risks that plastic may pose to living organisms, and also has implications for effective mitigation and remediation. In this study, we provide one of the first estimates of the global ocean floor reservoir of plastic pollution. First, we conducted a systematic review of the abundances of plastic pollution reported in the deep ocean was conducted to identify studies that published findings on the amount and types of plastic on the seabed from the 1970’s until January 1st, 2020. These data were then used to build a generalized additive model (GAM) with relevant covariates to model how much plastic resides on the ocean floor on a global scale.


April 5, 2023




7700 Sandholdt Road
Moss Landing, CA 95039

Seminar recording on Vimeo