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Study shows whales eat 3 million microplastics a day |  environment

Study shows whales eat 3 million microplastics a day | environment

Whales near Auckland in New Zealand eat about 3 million microplastic particles every day. Researchers from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands and the University of Auckland in New Zealand came to this conclusion in a study of whale droppings.

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Whales ingest about 25,000 microplastic parts per bite. This plastic particle is smaller than 5 millimeters. It mainly comes from prey. Whales eat mainly krill and small plankton. Only 1 in 1,000 microplastics appears to come directly from water.

The fact that microplastics are present in whale droppings came as no surprise to fellow researcher and associate professor at Leiden University, Thys Busker. However, you might be surprised at the amount of microplastics that whales ingest on a daily basis.

It is not clear how harmful this is

It is the first study of whale droppings to determine the extent of the contamination. Previously, the focus was mainly on water samples. In a follow-up study, the Leiden researchers who participated in this study want to take a look at the effects of microplastics on living organisms. 3 million microplastics a day seems like a lot, Busker says, but it’s not yet clear how bad that is for whales or the environment.

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