Rebecca Smithers writes about the fish in the English Channel ingesting plastic, as published in the Plymouth University Study published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin.
Prof Richard Thompson of Plymouth University said in a statement: “We have previously shown that on shorelines worldwide and on the seabed and in the water column around the UK, these tiny fragments of plastic are widespread. But this new research has shown that such fragments are also being ingested by fish. Laboratory studies on mussels have shown that some organisms can retain plastic after ingestion, hence microplastic debris could also accumulate in natural populations.”
Smithers also quotes Prof Thompson, who calls on the need for recycling manufactured plastics:
“There is no threat to human health as the plastic was found in the fish gut which we do not eat. But we don’t need to have plastic debris in the sea. These materials are inherently very recyclable, but regrettably they’ve been at the heart of our throw-away culture for the last few decades. We need to recognize the value of plastics at the end of their lives and need help from industry and manufacturers to widen the potential for everyday products to be reusable and recyclable.”