Ocean pollution with plastic kills the bacteria Prochlorococcus. They produce up to 10% oxygen in the atmosphere.

Prochlorococcus is a type of tiny cyanobacteria that was discovered just over 30 years ago. Representatives of the species

are not only the smallestphotosynthetic organism on the planet, but also one of the most common. According to some estimates, in the ocean there are up to three octillion Prochlorococcus, which not only help maintain water in a healthy state, but also produce a significant amount of oxygen that we breathe - about 10% of the total.

The researchers took two different strains of cyanobacteria and under laboratory conditions exposed them to chemicals that were leached from plastic products.

The result of the experiment showed that chemicalsubstances inhibit the growth of bacteria, reduce their ability to photosynthesis and alter some genes. Such an effect often leads to the death of Prochlorococcus, the study notes.

Previously, chemists from the University of Berkeley created a newa type of plastic that, they say, can be recycled almost infinitely many times. The material can be decomposed at the molecular level and create new products without any loss of quality.