Warning: plastic in wild mullet2018.05.02
ABOUT 60 percent of wild mullet caught in Hong Kong contain microplastics, according to university research.
Greenpeace (綠色和平) quoted Education University of Hong Kong (教育大學) in research which tested 30 cultured and 30 wild flathead grey mullet.
It found each mullet contained an average of 4.3 plastic fragments. The green group also bought a one-metre-long marine fish, 13 wild mullet and 30 fish intestines at the market this month. Plastic pieces were found in them.
The plastic polymers found are mainly used in disposable tableware like single-use plastic cutlery, straws, cups, lids and plastic bags.
A Greenpeace campaigner said not all disposable plastic products are sent to landfills. Those that are not properly treated or disposed of could end up in the sea after passing through drains and rivers.
“Those plastic fragments from plastic disposable products will not decompose, they will only break into smaller pieces,” she said. “If fish eat microplastics, it will block and change the shape of their intestines, and slow down their mobility, affecting their health.”
This increases the chance of putting toxins along the food chain. When pesticides and plasticisers merge with the microplastics, they can harm people’s livers, endocrine and reproductive ability.
Greenpeace asked the government to set a target for reducing the use of plastic.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 02 May 2018)
Impacts of microplastics on the ecosystem and human health
Microplastics in seafood – Centre for Food Safety