This story is part of a series on ocean plastics.
The oceans are teeming with plastic trash: shopping bags, water bottles, old toothbrushes, and much more. By 2020, there will be more plastic than fish in marine waters.
Over time, this debris begins to break into near-microscopic particles. There may be 51 trillion tiny plastic pieces scattered across the world?s oceans ? 500 times more than there are stars in the galaxy. Fish, unable to discern what?s plastic and what?s food, are eating this stuff. And humans, ever ravenous, eat fish ? lots of them.
One in four fish has plastic in its gut, according a recent study. Plastic particles have also been found in oysters and mussels. If you eat a lot of shellfish, for example, you might be consuming 11,000 pieces of plastic a year. The health effects of this are unknown.
To see how this cycle plays out, take a look through the storybook below:
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