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Even the remote Outer Hebrides is being choked by plastic pollution.
Greenpeace has discovered the problem is so widespread that puffins and basking sharks in the region are being exposed to toxic microplastics.
Scientists - Seawater - Samples - Locations - Coast
Scientists who collected 49 seawater samples from 27 locations off the Scottish coast found two-thirds contained microplastics.
These tiny plastics, known already to be swallowed by birds and whales, contained toxic flame retardants, pesticides and heavy metals such as lead and copper.
Researchers - Microplastics - Way - Food - Supply
Researchers say some microplastics could find their way into our food supply.
Microplastics are plastic pieces broken down over time and are characterised as measuring less than 5 millimetres (0.2 inches) in any dimension.
Chemicals - Seawater - Range - Chemical - Additives
They can absorb chemicals from seawater and carry a wide range of chemical additives and contaminants.
In the latest study by Greenpeace, the hazardous chemicals were found in feeding grounds for basking sharks, which are particularly vulnerable to sea pollution because they swallow 175,000 gallons of water an hour as they filter it for plankton.
Pieces - Plastic - Fifth - Inch - Colonies
The pieces of plastic, measuring less than 5mm, or a fifth of an inch, were also found close to seabird colonies including Bass Rock and the Shiant Isles.
These are home to more than 20 species, including gannets, puffins, razorbills and shearwaters.
Microplastics - Guts - Seabirds - Risk - Starvation
Microplastics have been found previously in the guts of seabirds, which face the risk of choking or starvation from filling their stomachs with man-made waste which makes them believe they are full.
The Daily Mail has highlighted the issue in its...
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