How much plastic do fish eat? The short answer is a lot.
With more than 250 million tons of plastic being produced a year, over seven million tons ends up in the world’s oceans. The University of California, San Diego’s researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography estimated over 9 percent of fish caught during their expedition in the North Pacific ocean gyre had small bits of plastic in their stomachs. This translated to up to 24,000 tons in this part of North Pacific alone.
The researchers caution that this figure is most likely an underestimate. The 9 percent figure doesn’t reflect the circumstances in which fish die, regurgitate or pass plastic fragments.
Once a fish has plastic in it’s stomach, the fish itself can absorb toxins into its body from the plastic. Then anything in the food chain that eats that fish, from other sea creatures to humans, is ingesting those toxins.
Did you just eat a plastic bag with that fish stick?