Exclusive: Plastic pollution could be working its way up the food chain, scientists warn
Eight million tons of plastic ends up in our ocean each year. Ninety-one per cent of plastic waste isn’t recycled. More than 40 per cent is only used once.
Those are the global stats, but a new documentary, “Protecting Paradise”, put together by National Geographic, not-for-profit Parley for the Oceans, and Corona, has revealed for the first time how badly Australia is being effected.
And the investigation has revealed approximately one ton of plastic debris can be found for every kilometre of coastline in Far North Queensland.
“We found plastic on every island we went to. We also did microplastic trawling and found plastic in the ocean too. The plastic is throughout the entire ocean column – the sea surface, the seafloor,” marine biologist Laura Wells told nine.com.au.
“Plastics is full off different chemicals that are harmful to human health, and once plastic is in the ocean it acts like a sponge. It soaks up all of the other chemicals and becomes extra toxic. It is then ingested by fish and other organisms, which we then consume. So essentially, we are eating our own toxic waste.”
A recent study conducted by the Environment Agency Austria has fueled concern these plastic particles are working their way into humans via the food chain.
The pilot study, which was published late last year, found microplastics in human stools for the first time in history.
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