Microplastics in Mussels: The Ocean is Feeding Our Garbage Back to Us

A new study finds you’re eating 70 tiny pieces of plastic for every 3 ounces of mussels you eat

As the natural filtration system of the sea, shellfish are accumulating massive amounts of microplastics in their tissues.

For every 3 ounces of mussels you eat, you’re ingesting an estimated 70 particles of microplastic, a new study by the University of Hull and Brunel University London finds.

Researchers took samples of wild mussels from eight coastal locations around the UK and eight supermarkets. 100% of them contained microplastics and some contained other debris like cotton and rayon.

Mussels eat by filtering seawater through their bodies, ingesting small particles of plastic along with their food.

Analysis shows around half of the debris found in the mussels was microplastics such as polyester and polythene and 37% was other debris including textiles such as cotton and rayon.

Seafood is only one way humans ingest microplastics, as they’ve been found in other food sources and drinking water, and can even be inhaled, University of Hull environmental scientist Jeanette Rotchell said.

Single-use plastic is responsible for nearly 90% of ocean pollution.





29 responses to “Microplastics in Mussels: The Ocean is Feeding Our Garbage Back to Us”

  1. Petar Avatar

    And people still buying Plastic bottle etc.. I cant belive it. Well we will eat plastic for 20 years

    1. Robert Avatar

      20 years. And then what happens?

  2. Naw clara Avatar

    Thanks for your contribution.

  3. John Napier Avatar
    John Napier

    So what does that mean to us? Are the microplastics detrimental to us or benign?

    1. Ramona Harter Avatar
      Ramona Harter

      What do you think??

    2. Kristina Avatar

      What do you think??? Unless you are an exception to the rule of all life on Earth, plastic is NOT healthy to ingest.

      1. K Avatar

        These are such small quantities…. Cyanide is bad for us doesn’t mean eating apple seeds will kill us… Proportions babe

        1. Jeb Avatar

          Are you for real?

    3. Barb Avatar

      Being that marine mammals are showing up dead with bellies full of plastic I would say it is detrimental

    4. Michelle Avatar

      We can’t digest plastic so it will stay in our gut till we fill up on it and starve to death like all the birds and sea creatures are already. Plastic is also in salt

      1. G Avatar

        That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. That’s not how the body works. Your body can’t completely digest plant based foods but yet our guts don’t get full and we don’t die. You are an idiot!

    5. Stef Avatar

      I have an ad for wd 40 for knees, and life insurance. Ads on pages like these are based off of your internet searches, and what your phone hears. Yep. It’s listening to you! And it knows what you want.

      Enjoy your mussels lol.

  4. Kate Avatar

    We need to stop buying stuff in new plastic bottles. Take it back and refill it. If you can’t refill it, ask your store why not. If they say manufacturers wont allow it, ask the manufacturers why not. If they say the FDA wont’ allow it (believe me I’ve been down this road) ask the FDA why not? BE the squeaky wheel.

    1. Lilli Lück Avatar
      Lilli Lück

      Im proud that you’re went through this!! That’s how engagement should be!

  5. Lalo Avatar

    It’s taking too long to eradicate plastic containers. Too much bureaucracy.

  6. mieliepap Avatar

    microplastics from washing powder is a source that often escapes blame.

    1. Liz Avatar

      I don’t think the micro plastics are coming from washing powder, they are coming from clothes made of micro fibers being washed (like leggings and athletic apparel). The micro fibers get in the water drained from the machines which then go into our water systems & oceans.

  7. Mike Avatar

    Well too much bureaucracy,doesn’t mean give up! Keep at it….the squeaky wheel does get the grease. Be patient

  8. Crista Avatar

    Right. Now I’m convinced there’s a link here and cancer. Well done human species. We’re slowly killing ourselves.
    Mother Nature always finds a way to bring balance to Earth. So by killing out half our species we’ll be doing Earth a favour.

  9. blah Avatar

    It’s not enough for consumers to change behaviour. Corporate responsibility is key. They need to stop producing stuff that will outlive us. They need to aim for zero waste in their practice.

  10. violet go Avatar
    violet go

    no wonder their’s a lot of “plastic” people everywhere! 🙂

  11. Ignatz Avatar

    Don’t you find it a bit strange that your page then directs people to buy canned mussels from Amazon.com…which no self-respecting Progressive should shop from?

    1. Sara Burrows Avatar

      I don’t like Amazon any more than you do. Unfortunately, Google and Amazon are the only companies that have efficient ad systems to pay my bills and bring you this info. Amazon and Google automatically choose which ads to display, not me. If you’d like ad-free articles, feel free to subscribe to an ad-free newspaper.

  12. reality Avatar

    Your article is almost word for word to the article you cite, yet the things you said are not in quotes. Isn’t that plagerism? All you are doing is regurgitating other peoples research so you can make money. There are plenty of free web page sites, don’t play it off like your just doing what you have to.

  13. Ken Rawley Avatar
    Ken Rawley

    You could tell humans there were live hand-grenades that will explode when a mussel is eaten, and they would eat mussels, they are so stupid.

  14. Michael Avatar

    No the plastic isnt the cause Its the ignorant people and countries who dump trash in the ocean

  15. Anne Robertson Avatar

    Find a way to re-use the plastic instead of throwing away is the answer and I am sure there must hundreds of ways.

  16. EricW. Avatar

    Maybe it’s finally time for the international community to get China to stop dumping plastics in the ocean? As China is far and away the worst violator in this regard in the world – by far.

  17. Ayni Coppersmith Avatar
    Ayni Coppersmith

    We are all a part of the web of life. Our actions affect everything and these highly conscious tribes of mussels are part of the cycle. We need to clean up our actions NOW. This planet is magical. LOVE your Mother Goddesss Earth. GAIA