bottles, buckets, bags, foils, tooth brushes, broken toys, old ropes and fishing nets – huge amounts of plastic waste swimming in the oceans. You will not only blight the beaches. Also, more and more birds, whales, dolphins, and other sea creatures die because they get tangled parts in plastic, strangulation or ingestion. The smaller the plastic parts, the Greater the risk that they may be taken with food and in the body of the animals to accumulate.

Manfred Lindinger

editor in the Department “nature and science”.

F. A. Z.

Alarming, a recent finding in this context is a British scientists from the University of Exeter in Cornwall and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory. You have found turtles plastic particles in the gastrointestinal tract of a hundred dead water. All of the known seven species of sea turtles found in the Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean, were affected Emily Ducan and her colleagues write in their study published in the journal “Global Change Biology”. The examined animals had been stranded or as unwanted by-catch thrown overboard.

a lot of plastic in the stomach-intestinal-tract

More than 800 plastic particles, the researchers have taken the 102 dead animals. In the process, they have analyzed only parts of the entrails. The actual amount of ingested plastic could therefore be even bigger – to twenty-fold, the researchers estimate.

The vast majority of plastic tiny fibers (77 percent), the filters of garments, tires, Cigarettes, or of Ropes and fishing nets were were. 23 percent made up of smaller fragments, and five percent were micro-particles. Chemical analyses in the laboratory showed that it was mainly elastomers and thermoplastics. The researchers were able to identify particles that were smaller than a Millimeter.

“Due to their small size can enter the particles, apparently unhindered up in the digestive tract of sea turtles, and in the intestine accumulate,” says study leader Emily Ducan. Still, it is not clear how the recorded plastic and the pollutants contained therein had an impact on the animals. Further investigations will clarify that.

the Largest extent in the Mediterranean

Also is not yet completely clarified, such as the sea, the plastic turtles. The most likely way to lead according to the researchers via contaminated sea water and Sand, as well as the food intake. “In the past years, we have found plastic in all of the sea creatures in the Plankton and fish larvae, so the potential in the food of many sea creatures,” says Penelope Linde, from the Plymouth Marine Laboratory.