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This National Geographic cover has gone viral - can you see why?

The new cover of National Geographic magazine is going viral for raising awareness about the everyday item having a shocking impact on the planet.

The June edition of the magazine shows a picture of a plastic bag deep beneath an ocean, with a corner of the bag peaking out the surface of the water, taking shape as an iceberg.

There is a hidden meaning behind the picture to suggest we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg when dealing with the problems around plastic.

National Geographic’s senior photo editor Vaughn Wallace shared the picture on Twitter and it has been liked almost 18,000 times and received more than 8500 retweets in just hours.

Wallace claims the cover is “one for the ages”.

People are loving the new National Geographic cover. Source: National Geographic
People are loving the new National Geographic cover. Source: National Geographic

He said starting with the June issue, the magazine would no longer have a plastic wrapper and it would instead be replaced with paper.

People on social media have applauded National Geographic for its latest attempt to turn the tide on plastic pollution.

“This one stopped me in my tracks. It’s brilliant,” one wrote.

Another said the cover, illustrated by Mexican artist Jorge Gamboa, was a powerful statement.

“National Geographic outdoes itself with this brilliant cover and a dire warning. Planet, or plastic?” another person tweeted.

Another person asked whether the image was posted in a way that would surprise Twitter users when they open the image to reveal the plastic bag beneath the surface.

“It does that perfectly,” he wrote.

Several people have described the cover as “epic”.

The June issue of the magazine is focusing on the problem of plastic waste and features shocking images of wildlife wrapped in plastic, along with statistics about the planet’s plastic consumption.

According to the magazine, 448 million tonnes of plastic was produced in 2015.