Warning: If You Eat An Average Amount Of Fish, You Are Now Eating 11,000 Pieces Of Plastic Per Year - Herbs Info

Warning: If You Eat An Average Amount Of Fish, You Are Now Eating 11,000 Pieces Of Plastic Per Year

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Warning: If You Eat An Average Amount Of Fish, You Are Now Eating 11,000 Pieces Of Plastic Per Yearimage © Arpad Nagy-Bagoly – fotolia.com

This is the despicable truth of the world we have created: According to a January 2016 report published by the World Economic Forum, the earth’s oceans will have more plastic than fish by 2050. [1]


Humans manufacture and use more than 300 million tons of plastic per year. This amount is about equal to the combined body weight of the world’s adult human population. Almost 50% of this plastic is only used one time before it is discarded.

An alarming amount of it ends up in the sea: Recent estimates are that over 8 million tons of plastic are added to the planet’s seas annually, equivalent to a dump truck full every minute.



If you are insane enough not to care, consider this: You’re going to end up eating it.

This plastic doesn’t really biodegrade so much as break into smaller and smaller pieces… these get eaten by the small fish, which then get eaten by the bigger fish… and guess where it ends up? In you. One scientist has estimated that people who consume average amounts of seafood are now ingesting 11,000 particles of plastic every year. [1] This amount is going up all the time.

In a 2010 circumnavigation expedition around the world, plastic debris was collected and analyzed. The results were pretty terrifying – plastic debris occurred in 88 percent of open ocean water included in the study. 33 to 35 percent was contributed by the North Pacific Ocean specifically. The study estimated that at any point in open water, there would be 7000 to 35000 tons of plastic debris floating on the surface. [2]

A 2015 study published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin focused on the first evidence of plastic debris found inside pelagic fishes from the Mediterranean Sea, specifically swordfish, Atlantic Bluefin tuna, and Albacore (a kind of tuna fish as well). Approximately 18.2 percent of the samples contained plastic debris in varying sizes, categorized as microplastic (<5mm), mesoplastic (5 – 25mm), and macroplastic (>25mm). The bigger fish ingested mostly macro and mesoplastics while smaller fish ingested mostly microplastic. [3]

The study included 56 swordfish, 36 bluefin, and 31 albacore fish – a total of 123 fish collected between 2012 and 2013. Out of all these fish, 22 had plastic debris in their stomachs. According to the European Commission, beyond the mechanical damage the debris does to the fish and the human eating it, the dangerous toxins found in plastic (called PBT or Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic substances) can cause long-term damage that don’t manifest immediate symptoms. It is worrying because these kinds of fish are found in open water, meaning they are the kind that is typically caught and sold commercially and often end up being cooked and served to our families and loved ones. [4]


While everyone is arguing about which of the corrupt politicians to elect, this is continuing. We are all contributing to this plastic nightmare daily. It needs to stop. Plastic is hell. It is ending up in our waters, polluting the food we eat, killing wildlife and eventually killing us. If that isn’t a wake-up call to start caring for the environment, I don’t know what else is. What good is all the profit in the world if there is nothing left to eat that is not polluted?

References:

[1] Dahr Jamail – Truth-out.org: Not a Fish Tale: Humans Are Ingesting Plastic Thanks to Ocean Pollution. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/35291-not-a-fish-tale-humans-are-ingesting-plastic-thanks-to-ocean-pollution

[2] Cozar, A., et. al. (2014). Plastic debris in the open ocean. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4104848/

[3] Romero, T., et. al. (2015). First evidence of presence of plastic debris in stomach of large pelagic fish in the Mediterranean Sea. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X15002507

[4] European Commission (2015). First evidence of presence of plastic debris in stomach of lPlastic found in stomachs of over 1 in 6 large pelagic fish sampled in Mediterranean. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/research/newsalert/pdf/first_evidence_of_presence_of_plastic_debris…/




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