In an article published on August 20, 2018, by U.S. radio station WBUR, correspondent Christopher Joyce reported on the widespread global occurrence of microplastics. The tiny plastic particles, defined as pieces smaller than 5 mm, have been found in oceans, rivers, lakes, tap water, bottled water, beer, sea salt, fish and shellfish, and compost, he summarized.
“Plastic is resilient, durable and doesn’t easily degrade,” Joyce explained. “It’s a vital part of medical equipment and has revolutionized packaging, especially food storage,” the further noted. However, “over time, plastic can break down and shed the chemicals that make it useful, such as phthalates and bisphenol A,” Joyce highlighted. In addition, “[p]lastic also attracts other chemicals in the water that latch onto it, including toxic industrial compounds,” he described.
Joyce interviewed Chelsea Rochman, an ecologist at the University of Toronto, Canada, and her colleagues who study “how plastic works its way into the food chain, from tiny plankton to fish larvae to fish, including fish we eat.”
Christopher Joyce (August 20, 2018). “Beer, drinking water and fish: Tiny plastic is everywhere.” WBUR News