Friday, December 22, 2017
Why recycle when it is so much easier to throw plastic, paper, aluminum and glass away? Sure, you may get a few bucks from recycling the aluminum, but why go through the hassle of recycle plastic? Really, you're never going to see it again.
But what if you had to eat your garbage? Don't laugh, you might be doing it already without even knowing it.
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Tiny bits of plastic are contaminating mussels from the European Arctic to China in a sign of the global spread of ocean pollution that can end up on people's dinner plates.
Mussels in apparently pristine Arctic waters had most plastic of any tested along the Norwegian coast, according to a study this month by the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA).
Plastics may be getting swept north by ocean currents and winds from Europe and America, ending up swirling around the Arctic Ocean, NIVA researcher Amy Lusher told Reuters.
"Microplastics have been found in mussels everywhere scientists have looked," she said.
Last year, Chinese researchers suggested that mussels could be a global "bioindicator of microplastic pollution" because the molluscs live on the seabed where many plastics end up and, unlike fish, stay in the same place.
The impact of microplastics' on marine life or humans when eaten is unclear. Scientists suspect you would have to eat vast amounts of shellfish to be at risk, straining even Belgian diets where moules et frites (mussels and French fries) are a favorite dish.
"It's a warning signal that we need to do something about reducing the input of plastic to the ocean," Richard Thompson, a professor at Plymouth University and an expert on microplastics, told Reuters of the worldwide finds.
Almost 200 nations signed a U.N. resolution this month to eliminate plastic pollution in the seas, ranging from bottles to supermarket bags and food packaging, estimated at 8 million tonnes a year.