This coming-home story packs a punch.
This just may make you think differently about plastic — and might scare the sushi out of you too.
Could tossing a plastic bottle away possibly end up with you eating it in a fish? Here's what that journey might look like (and it's weirder than you might think).
1. Plastic never really goes away; it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. So the more plastic we make, the more we live with. Want to take a guess at how much plastic the world dumps in the ocean every year? Click here to find out. No wonder the latest National Geographic maps include the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and there's such thing as an expert in the plastisphere, studying a whole new dimension in marine life.
But there's more, and it's kind of like Frankenstein.
2. Tiny bits of marine plastic appear to bond with toxins in the sea. Those plastic bits may get tiny, even too small for us to see, but they are acting like little toxin magnets, taking up a scary collection of chemicals and metals from the water.
3. Fish like to eat tiny bits of plastic. Who knows why, but they do. And fish that eat the plastic-toxin bits end up with the toxin in their tissues and organs and get sick.
4. There is some evidence that the plastic-toxins might accumulate in our bodies too. The world is a crazy connected place. But the answer isn't to avoid eating fish, which is darn good for you. We just need to realize we can't ever really throw plastic away.
Here are three easy ways to do something about plastic in the ocean and in your fish:
- Check out this scorecard of plastic performance, and don't buy from companies that aren't working to reduce packaging and to recycle.
- Dude. Carry your own water bottle.
- Take your own bags shopping.