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

July 6, 2018 at 6:31 pm

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.