Could plastic trash's effect on coral reefs spark policy change?

An international research group, led by Cornell University, has found that plastic trash -- ubiquitous throughout the world's oceans -- intensifies disease for coral, adding to reef peril. When plastic debris meets coral, according to the researchers, the likelihood of disease increases from 4 to 89 percent -- a 20-fold change. The scientists estimate that about 11.1 billion plastic items are entangled on reefs across the Asia-Pacific region, and that this will likely increase by 40 percent over the next seven years.

Provided by National Science Foundation

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