A group of scientists at Cardiff University has, for the first time, found a way of predicting the size of plastics several animals can ingest.
The scientists, from the University’s Water Research Institute, appeared at the gut contents of over 2,000 animals to form a simple equation to foretell the size of a plastic product an animal can eat, based on the size of its body.
Within the research, revealed as we speak in Nature Communications, they report that the size of an animal can be utilized to estimate the most crucial piece of plastic it may eat—and this was some 5% of the size of the animal.
The scientists say that as the plastic pollution escalates, it’s vital to be able to rapidly assess the risk of plastics to entirely different species all over the world.
This work may also assist scientists in measuring the risk of plastic pollution to ecosystems and food supplies—and, ultimately, the risk to human well-being.
By trawling via revealed data, the crew saw plastics ingested by marine and freshwater mammals, reptiles, and fishes, from 9mm-long fish larvae to a 10m-long humpback whale.
Throughout their research, they discovered some shocking examples of the extent of plastic pollution, along with hosepipes and flower pots in a sperm whale, plastic banana bags inside green turtles and a shotgun cartridge in a True’s beaked whale.