For sustainable society


Microplastics inside consumed fishes

In order to get out of using plastics, Paranaqu Citye in Metro Manila, Philippines has issued a ban on the use of disposable plastics in the city since June 2020. The city also will ban the use and sale of plastic shopping bags and foamed plastic insulation after June. Although both the Philippine central government and local government are working on regulations, the reality is that the cities of the Philippines, especially rivers, are full of garbage. Eventually, a study that microplastics were found inside fishes caught in four coastal areas in the Philippines has been reported.

According to the report, analyzing 120 rabbitfish bought from fish markets in the cities of Dumaguete and Bais and in the towns of Manjuyod and Ayungon, facing the Tañon Strait, showed a result that almost half of them had microplastic in the digestive tracts. In addition, most of the microplastics detected in this survey were polypropylene, which is a heat-resistant plastic commonly used in food and beverage packaging.  Since it breaks down into small plastic particles less than 5 mm and settles on sea algae over time, small fish such as rabbitfish can eat them. The microplastics consumption among fish consumed by humans has been investigated for the first time through this survey. It is said that, since rabbitfish is one of the commonly consumed fish in the Philippines, it can be a marker to determine the levels of microplastics in a certain location. The report also says that the most surprising result is that many fishes with microplastics were found even in a rural coast like Manjuyod.

The effects of microplastic consumption on human bodies have not been officially revealed yet; however, there are two types of possible effects: the effect because of being a physical extraneous substance (particle toxicity) and the effect because of additives, or chemicals adsorbed on plastic. Considering that the plastics you threw away eventually returns to you, you may realize how dangerous it is to overlook the current situation. 


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