Boffins find plastic in barnacles, crabs and worms

Scientists from Plymouth University have discovered that old rope, shopping bags, yoghurt pots, bleach bottles and other plastic rubbish are being ‘eaten’ by ocean fauna.

They have found microscopic fragments of nylon, polyester, acrylic and six other polymers in barnacles, worms, tiny crustaceans and even plankton.

British beaches, estuaries and mudbanks from Land’s End to Scotland are awash with a sea of plastic particles and now the scientists are to probe whether the pollutants can get into the food chain.