5-speed listening (Microplastics - Level 2)

Worries about microplastics in our seafood






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There may be pieces of plastic in seafood. They are called microplastics. These are tiny pieces of plastic from the garbage that is in oceans. They are less than a millimeter wide. They are becoming more common in seafood such as oysters and other kinds of shellfish. Scientists say there are more than five trillion pieces of microplastic in our oceans. More are being added every day. Professor Richard Thompson, a marine biologist, said: "Hundreds of marine organisms [mix with] plastic…in the water…and many of those encounters are harmful if not fatal."

Researchers in Belgium conducted a study into microplastics. They believe people eat up to 11,000 pieces of plastic each year. Only around 60 of these pieces stay in our body - the rest disappear down the toilet. Sixty pieces of microplastic is not a lot but it will build up over time. They could eventually be bad for our health. Things will get worse. By the end of this century, seafood eaters could eat as many as 780,000 pieces of plastic a year. That is likely to cause many health problems. Scientists say we need to recycle more and use other things instead of plastic.

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