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You're Probably Eating Plastic For Dinner, You Just Don't Know It Yet

15/05/2017 7:00 PM AEST | Updated 16/05/2017 11:26 PM AEST
Milkos via Getty Images

This story is part of a series on ocean plastics.

The oceans are teeming with plastic trash: shopping bags, water bottles, old toothbrushes, and much more. By 2020, there will be more plastic than fish in marine waters.

Over time, this debris begins to break into near-microscopic particles. There may be 51 trillion tiny plastic pieces scattered across the world’s oceans ― 500 times more than there are stars in the galaxy. Fish, unable to discern what’s plastic and what’s food, are eating this stuff. And humans, ever ravenous, eat fish ― lots of them.

One in four fish has plastic in its gut, according a recent study. Plastic particles have also been found in oysters and mussels. If you eat a lot of shellfish, for example, you might be consuming 11,000 pieces of plastic a year. The health effects of this are unknown.

To see how this cycle plays out, take a look through the storybook below:

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