A truly shocking study has revealed that 100% of marine life – dolphins, seals and whales – washed up on British shores had ingested plastic. Out of the 50 animals across 10 different species were analysed, scientists founded plastic in the digestive system of every single one.

What was found inside the animal’s stomach and intestines classed as ‘microplastics’ – a piece of plastic less than five millimetres across. The majority were made up of synthetic fibres, believed to be from clothes or fishing nets. Items like food packaging and plastic bottles was also found.

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“Shocking – but not surprising” said researchers

Speaking with ITV News, lead researcher Sarah Nelms, from the University of Exeter, said: “It’s shocking – but not surprising – that every animal had ingested microplastics. The number of particles in each animal was relatively low, an average of 5.5 particles per animal, suggesting they eventually pass through the digestive system, or are regurgitated.”

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50 animals across 10 different species were analysed