Millions of tons of plastic waste end up in the ocean every year. And the trash stays there: Whether it's grocery bags or water bottles or kids' toys, plastic is practically indestructible.
Now marine scientists have discovered that it's killing coral reefs.
A new study based on four years of diving on 159 reefs in the Pacific shows that reefs in four countries — Australia, Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar — are heavily contaminated with plastic. It clings to the coral, especially branching coral. And where it clings, it sickens or kills.