A study conducted by scientists at the University of Exeter and the University of Plymouth published in Current Biology has revealed that plastic waste in oceans is having a detrimental effect upon lungworms.
The study examined the habits of lungworms in a controlled laboratory setting, establishing that the invertebrates mated less and fed less when in environments with microscopic plastic waste. When the lungworms did feed in areas where plastic was present, the plastic often became trapped in their digestive systems, which resulted in poor nutrient absorption and sometimes death.
So why does it matter what happens to lungworms? These organisms are the bottom of the food chain for many fish species and drops in their population could lead to a huge ripple effect. Also, the scientists point out that it's likely that many other foundations of aquatic food chains are being negatively impacted in similar ways.
All of the steps that governments are taking to reduce plastic waste is a start toward protecting eco systems. We can all do our part by using more reusable and biodegradable products and fewer single use plastics.
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