Fish Ingesting Plastic Waste, Study Finds

This article is about how more than 250 million tons of plastic is produced around the world each year and seven million tons of the plastic ends up in the ocean. Researchers say that 12,000 to 24,000 tons of plastic is swallowed by fish in the northern Pacific Ocean a year. Since plastic is cheap and lightweight, plastic is essential in our industry but it is very dangerous to our environment. A lot of it is not recycled and ends up in the sea which gradually biodegraded into tiny pieces which do much harm. Marina plastic pollution has begun to alarm scientists years ago and much of the plastic ends up in the world’s ocean gyres. Since plastic has disintegrated, there are many questions that remain about how much plastic is out there and about the long-term effect on the marine environment. A research team traveled across the North Pacific ocean gyre collection fish specimens, water samples, and marine debris and found that over 9 percent of the fish caught had small pieces of plastic in their stomachs. The researchers estimated that fish living at intermediate depths in the North Pacific swallow as much as 24,000 tons of plastic debris a year. The main problem is that the infrastructure for proper waster management and recycling cannot keep pace with the growth of plastic in our daily lives. Therefore, we must decrease our usage of plastic so we can save our environment.


Marina Bryant

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