Microplastic covered by biofilm comprised of a bacterium (in blue)
Microplastic covered by biofilm comprised of a bacterium (in blue), observed by scanning electron microscopy. The image is colourised. This plastic was collected in May 2014 during the 7th Continent expedition to the North Atlantic ocean gyre, where a vast mass of floating plastic waste has accumulated. The biofilm here is a bacterial community which has developed on plastic debris floating in the sea; this debris has been called the plastisphere. Some of these micro-organisms may be pathogenic.