In an article published on February 14, 2017 by the newspaper The Guardian, editor Susan Smillie reports on the issues of plastic ocean pollution and microplastics in seafood. Smillie summarizes the emergence of plastic materials and their application in various everyday products. She particularly highlights the emergence of throwaway items and reports that by 2014 over 40% of global plastic production was for single-use packaging. Smillie further illustrates the discovery of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the existence of microplastics in the ocean. Microplastics are today found across the globe in fish and shellfish, who mistake the tiny particles for food and ingest them. In turn, humans are ingesting plastic contaminated seafood and accumulating microplastics and adsorbed chemicals in their bodies. The health implications of this situation are currently considered of low concern and require further research. Smillie mentions the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s efforts in working together with industry leaders towards a circular economy and specifically tackling single-use, throwaway plastics.
Susan Smillie (February 14, 2017). “From sea to plate: How plastic got into our fish.” The Guardian