© Alexandra TER HALLE / IMRCP / CNRS Images
Microplastic observed by scanning electron microscopy. The image is colourised. The biofilm that develops on the plastic is shown in colour. The largest objects are the diatoms. This plastic debris 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.