We already know the plastic waste that ends up in the oceans comes back to us in most surprising ways. Particles of the material can be found in tap water … as well as fish that eventually ends up on many people’s plates. Recently, small pieces of plastic have been discovered in mussels – from the European Arctic to China!
The plastic contamination of mussels was reported in a new study by the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA.) “Microplastics have been found in mussels everywhere scientists have looked,” NIVA researcher, Amy Lusher told Reuters.
According to the report, mussels found in Arctic waters – which are considered to be pristine – contained the most plastic of any organisms tested along the Norwegian coast. Lusher explains that plastics may end up in the Arctic Ocean after being swept up north by ocean currents and winds from Europe and America. On average, the mussels tested off Norway contained 1.8 bits of microplastic – with 4.3 bits in the Arctic. Similar surveys conducted in the past found microplastics off such nations as China, Chile, Canada, Britain, and Belgium, Reuters reports.
“It’s a warning signal that we need to do something about reducing the input of plastic to the ocean,” Richard Thompson, a professor at Plymouth University and an expert on microplastics, told Reuters.
The exact impact of consuming microplastics is still unclear for humans, but it is certainly not appealing. To find out how you can help the planet by buying, using, and throwing away less plastic, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!
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