HomeScuba NewsPlastic pollution: Equation determines risk of plastics to any species

Plastic pollution: Equation determines risk of plastics to any species


A new report seeks to predict the risk of plastics to any species, and show how much plastic pollution is moving into oceans and rivers and then into food chains.

The research, carried out by Prof Isabelle Durance and colleagues at Cardiff University, has been published in Nature Communications. They painstakingly trawled through published data to examine records of plastic found inside more than 2,000 marine and freshwater species, including mammals, reptiles, fish and invertebrates, from tiny fish larvae up to ten-metre-long whales. This included such oddities as a hosepipe in a sperm whale, plastic banana bags in green turtles, and a shotgun cartridge in a True’s beaked whale.

The researchers created an equation which is able to determine the maximum size of plastic item that an animal can swallow, based on the length of its body – this amounts to about a 20th of the size of the animal.

Prof Durance said: “All of us will have seen distressing, often heart-breaking, images of animals affected by plastic pollution, but a great many more interactions between animals and plastic are never witnessed. This study gives us a new way of visualising those many, many unseen events.”

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Scuba Diver Mag Social


Scuba Diver Articles


Be an OceanHero and protect the ocean every time you search...

We all spend far too much of our life Googling information, facts and figures, but now you can be doing your bit to help...

Scuba diving and medication

Shopping cart
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping