A recent survey of the ocean floor around Europe found trash scattered at every site that was studied, from shallow coastal regions to the deepest trenches located thousands of miles from cities.
PHOTOS: Life on the Ocean Floor Garbage Patch
An international team of oceanographers and marine scientists found bottles, plastic bags, fishing nets and other trash at 32 survey sites spread from the Arctic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. Although coastal areas held the most trash, the researchers found litter 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) from shore on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and 4,500 meters (2,796 miles) below the surface in the Cascais Canyon, west of Lisbon, Portugal.
Currents may sweep large amounts of trash from coastal areas into canyons which serve to funnel the trash further out to sea into deeper waters, suggest the researchers.