Indigestible plastic fibres have been found in the stomachs of langoustines fished from the Clyde estuary in Scotland.
Research published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin suggests that up to four fifths of langoustines have been contaminated.
The plastic is believed to have come from a variety of sources including polythene bags, waste thrown overboard from yachts and "chafers", knots of non-biodegradable plastic designed to stop nets from dragging along the seabed.
The study was carried out by researchers from the University of London's marine biological station at Cumbrae and a team from the University of Aberdeen. It examined the stomach contents of 120 of the crustaceans.
Although the tail is the part of the langoustines that is eaten by humans, carcinogenic chemicals from the plastic are often leeched into the body of the creature and could also be released from the plastic into soups and sauces when boiling them.
By Gemma Rowbotham
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