Plastic in sea ‘like fast food for fish’

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Oona Lonnstedt

Image caption

A Damselfish larva that has ingested tiny plastic particles

Young fish become hooked on eating plastic in the seas in the same way that teenagers prefer unhealthy fast food, Swedish researchers have said.

Their study, reported in Science, found exposure to high concentrations of polystyrene makes perch larvae favour the particles over more natural foods.

As a result of exposure to plastic, the young perch are smaller, slower and more susceptible to predators.

The researchers called for plastic micro-beads to be banned in cosmetics.

Chemical degradation

Concerns have been growing about the amount of plastic in the seas in recent years.

A study that came out last year estimated that about 8 million tonnes of plastic waste enters the oceans annually.

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