Ocean Action Hub

30 Mar 2020 - Hosepipes inside a sperm whale, plastic banana bags eaten by green turtles and a shotgun cartridge inside a True's beaked whale.

Just some of the examples of plastic found inside wildlife that have been documented in scientific reports.

Researchers went through records of plastic eaten by aquatic creatures to find out more about the risks.

They say the length of an animal can be used to estimate how big a piece of plastic it might accidentally consume.

This amounts to about a 20th of the size of the animal.

They hope the data can be used to find out more about the risks. More than 700 species of marine and freshwater animals are known to ingest plastic, but study researcher Dr Ifan Jâms of Cardiff University said it was difficult to figure out how much plastic they could be eating.

"This information gives us a way to start measuring the extent of the plastic pollution problem," he said. "We hope this study lays a foundation for including the 'ingestibility' of plastics into global risk assessments."

Continue reading online here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52062158

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Publication date: 
Publication Organisation: 
BBC News
Publication Author: 
Helen Briggs
Thematic Area: 
Marine pollution