Mussels are part of the mollusk family. They usually inhabit both saltwater and freshwater. These creatures exhibit an elongated outer shell that is asymmetrical. These creatures are said to be leading the way towards environmental safety. The environment has been ruined by the progressing society of the present. As technological supremacy is established, more and more harm is being done to nature. The carbon emitted from electronic goods is a key contributor to global warming. The harmful gases cause serious damage to the environment. Plastic is another hazardous material in the modern world. They form a chunk of non-biodegradable wastes. A study has recently shown Mussels can be the answer to eliminate microplastics.
Mussels Possess Microplastic Filtering Abilities?
A study conducted by the Marine Laboratory of Plymouth in England has shown startling results. The investigation has stated that Mussels are capable of filtering tonnes of microplastics by feeding on them. Oceans are often cluttered with plastics. These creatures can potentially solve a huge environmental hazard. The creatures can wipe out plastics as small as 5mm from the oceans. Building a machine of equivalent capacity would cost millions.
Mussels feed by filtering the water of the ocean. They flush out unnecessary items like microplastics from their system. The team is currently researching to find out the actual capacity of these creatures. A fully developed mussel can filter fifteen gallons of water per day. A bed of 6mile mussels can wipe 25tons of microplastic per year.
The pollution resulting from microplastics originates from various sources. Worn-out tires, decomposed debris, etc all deposit tiny fibers of plastic into the ocean. These plastics travel through the channel of the sewage system and get accumulated in the river. To trap these particles, a very fine net is required. However, there is a risk of small marine creatures also getting trapped along with the plastics.
The PML conducted another test on the mussel early in the year. They wanted to find out the effectiveness with which the creatures could wipe out the plastics. It was found that over 250,000 plastics were filtered each hour by just 300 of these creatures. This study had its sponsorship from Waitrose “Plan Plastic”.