Fish Ingesting Plastic Waste, Study Finds
By Bettina Wassener- Published on July 8, 2011 by New York Times
More than 250 million tons of plastic is produced around the world each year. About seven million tons of it ends up in the world’s oceans, according to some estimates.
Now, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have put a figure on how much of that plastic is swallowed by fish that dwell in the northern Pacific Ocean: somewhere between 12,000 and 24,000 tons a year.
The findings underline a problem that has been building for decades. Cheap, durable and lightweight, plastic is now essential for countless industries. But little of it is recycled and much ends up in the environment, including the sea, where it gradually fragments without quite biodegrading and turns up in parts of the ecosystem where it can do harm.