January 03, 2018 by: Zoey Sky
News) While some moules et frites (mussels and fries) sounds delicious,
the dish probably wouldn’t be as appetizing if every other bite had
plastic in it. According to a recent study, mussels from the European
Arctic to China are contaminated with “tiny bits of plastic.”
in Arctic waters contain the most plastic of all specimens tested along
the Norwegian coast, according to the researchers. This alarming
discovery emphasizes that ocean pollution is spreading globally, and
may even end up on our dinner plates.
study by a group of researchers from the Norwegian Institute for
Water Research (NIVA) determined the presence of plastic in mussels
in Arctic waters. Amy Lusher, one of the researchers who took part in
the study, shared that plastics could have reached the north
via ocean currents and winds from Europe and America. The plastic
then ends up “swirling around the Arctic Ocean.”
added that “microplastics” were found in all the mussels that were
studied. Earlier surveys confirmed the presence of microplastics in
nations such as China, Chile, Canada, the U.K., and Belgium. In
Norway, the mollusks often contained at least 1.8 bits of microplastic, or
anything smaller than five millimeters (mm) long (0.2 inches), with 4.3 in
2016, Chinese researchers cautioned that mussels might be a global
“bioindicator of microplastic pollution” since mollusks thrive on the
seabed. Seabeds are often full of plastics and, unlike fish, mollusks stay
in the same place.
remains to be seen how microplastics can affect marine life and how
the consumption of the material can affect humans. Scientists
believe that to be at risk, a huge amount of shellfish must be eaten.
Belgian diets for instance, often include a lot of moules et frites, which
is a favorite dish in the region.
Richard Thompson, an expert on microplastics at Plymouth University,
warned that this update means we must put more effort into “reducing the
input of plastic to the ocean… It’s a cause for concern at the moment
rather than an alarm story for human consumption.” (Related: 12
Easy Ways to Reduce Plastic Usage.)
December 2017, at least 200 nations signed a UN resolution to eliminate
plastic pollution in the seas, such as bottles, supermarket bags and food
packaging, which totals at least eight million tons a year.
Thompson’s research also determined that extremely high levels of plastic
on the seabed can endanger animals like lugworms that live there, since
such materials can build up in their tissues.
most plastic will simply pass through the guts of creatures like
shellfish. The professor noted that human exposure to microplastics in
seafood is likely to be below that from everyday plastics such as
are looking into whether microplastics can cause mussels or oysters to
make pearls, which nature forms as a safety precaution against “natural
irritants like sand.” Lusher adds that while pearls could jack up the
price of some shellfish, they can injure some unwitting diners.
to minimize plastic usage
you wish to cut down on the plastic waste that you produce,
please read the tips listed below:
- Avoid using plastic straws and get a
reusable stainless steel or glass straw instead.
- Always bring a reusable produce bag.
- Stop chewing gum. Made of a synthetic
rubber, chewing gum is also a kind of plastic.
- Try to reuse containers for storing
leftovers or shopping in bulk.
- Use a reusable bottle or mug for your
beverages, even when ordering from a to-go shop.
- Use matches instead of disposable
plastic lighters. You can also invest in a refillable metal lighter.
- Don’t use plasticware at home. Ask
restaurants not to include them in your take-out box.
more articles on how to minimize pollution at Pollution.news.