Scientists from New Zealand have presented a new study in which they found microplastics in the body of a record number of species. They require the intervention of the authorities of dozens of countries to stop this trend.
The researchers called on the authorities of various countries to intervene in the situation with the scale of microplastics entering the body of wild animals. They recorded 1,557 species around the world that ate plastic.
Dr. Gabriel Mahovsky-Kapuska, a researcher at the Cetacean Ecology Research Group (CERG) at Massey University, notes that the new numbers are alarming due to the widespread distribution of terrestrial and freshwater species, not just marine life. “This demonstrates widespread infestation of more than half of the vertebrates.”
The new article, published in the journal Science, is the most comprehensive report to date on the ingestion of plastic in animals, including terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments.
The review co-author notes that for many years the main explanation for plastic ingestion was that it was confused with the prey that animals usually eat. However, researchers now suggest that the process has become much more complicated.
“There are many factors to consider, including the presence of plastic in the environment, the nutritional status of the animal and its feeding strategy. These characteristics play an important role in understanding the risks of ingesting plastic in each species, ”the scientists note.
The researchers added that there is a very small chance that the species will be able to adapt in response to plastic pollution. “If it does, it will be on different evolutionary timescales, so human intervention is imperative.”
New Zealand will stop using single-use plastic by 2025 – this is the example of the intervention that scientists are talking about.