Scientists have found microplastic in all of the most-consumed mussel species around the world. One gram of mussel meat purchased from a grocery store contains between 0.13 and 2.45 microplastic particles, according to a new study, with organisms harvested in the North Atlantic and South Pacific the most contaminated.
Simply put, “if you eat mussels, you eat microplastics,” the scientists said in a statement.
The research, published in the journal Environmental Pollution, sampled European blue mussels, greenshell mussels, undulate venus, and the Pacific venus. All of the mussels were purchased from grocery stores, some were from aquaculture farms, and others were wild-caught. Samples came from the North Sea, the Mediterranean, the Atlantic Ocean, South Pacific Ocean, South China Sea, and the Gulf of Thailand.
All of the mussels sampled contained microplastic particles, with polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) being the most commonly found. Particles ranged from three to 5,000 micrometers.
Scientists have long known that mussels, which are filter feeders, have high levels of plastic contamination, but this new study is one of the first to look at mussels available at grocery stores around the world.