Surrounded by Plastic Ocean - Even in Our Food
by Corali on August 29, 2017 - 4:59pm
In Laura Parker’s article: “Ocean life eats tons of plastic--Here’s why that matters”, published August 16, 2017, in National Geographic news, it says that people only see the tip of the iceberg about plastic ocean because they think it stays on top of it. In reality, big pieces of plastic gradually break down into tiny ones ( five millimeters and less) and are eaten by anchovies and other species (around 700 species eat plastic!). It is also estimated that “the number of particles in 2014 ranged from 15 to 51 trillion pieces, weighing between 93,000 and 236,00 metric tons.”
Anchovies are little fish that some put on their pizza but they have much importance in the food chain. They are at the bottom of this chain and everything they eat will eventually come on our plate because they are eaten by bigger fish and we eat these fishes.
The problem is that anchovies, invertebrates and other fish eat microplastics because it smells like their food because this plastic passed a long time in the ocean and gradually took similar odor to seaweed. So they also ingest plastic toxin and spread it into marine ecosystem and over. That’s why we probably eat microplastics without being conscious of it.
There can be a technological solution like a robot or even a drone that can eventually clean up the ocean from plastics. In everyday life, we can stop using microbeads in cosmetics and plastic bag because it ends up in the ocean.