Microplastics Found In Every Whale, Dolphin And Seal In This Study

50 animals were tested and each was found to have plastic inside of it.

longread microplastics
Microplastics were discovered in each of 50 sea animals tested by scientists. (Getty)
Getty Images

Over 50 animals across 10 species were found to have microplastics in their digestive systems when researchers tested the animals, Newsweek reports.

The study, which was published in the journal Scientific Reports, found microplastics measuring up to 5 millimeters were found in every animal they tested.

Professor Brendan Godley from the University of Exeter says the study “highlights the magnitude of plastic pollution,” and they “expected to find plastics but were somewhat surprised when we found fibers in every single animal of all species.”

According to Newsweek: “Of the plastics found in the sea creatures, 84 percent were synthetic fibers, which generally originate from products such as clothing and fishing nets. The remaining contaminants were what the scientists described as fragments, likely to come from food and drink packaging.”

Goldey is particularly concerned for the filter-feeding whales, whales that feed off plankton by taking massive gulps of water, ingesting hundreds of thousands of cubic meters of H20 that could be contaminated with these microplastics.

“This should act as a canary in the coal mine for what we are doing to the environment on which we all depend.” Godley said. Halting use of single-use plastic is “clearly a first step” to correcting the problem, but we’ll need to be more aggressive to make a real impact.

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