On Seinfeld, Kramer was happy to take a dip in the East River. You probably shouldn't. According to a new study by NY/NJ Baykeeper, the waters surrounding New York City are filled with at least 165 million plastic particles at any given time, the New York Daily News reported. The study looked at bodies of water including New York Harbor, Hudson River, East River, Upper New York Bay, and Newtown Creek.
The worst offender was the East River, with 556,484 particles per square kilometer. Most of the particles are tiny – smaller than five millimeters in diameter. Microbeads, soon to be banned, accounted for tens of millions of particles. One problem is that fish mistake these particles as food and then ingest them, and then humans eat the fish.
"When just one large piece of plastic such as a single-use spoon, water bottle, or plastic bag enters our waterways and breaks down, the harmful impacts to wildlife and our own well-being . . . are unfathomable," said the study.