(Reuters) – Microscopic items of plastic have been found in the most distant places, from the depths of the ocean to Arctic ice – and in our our bodies as we breathe in and eat microplastic, and drink plastic-infused water day-after-day.
FILE PHOTO: Rubbish, primarily plastic baggage and bottles, are seen at daybreak at Malagueta seashore after celebrations of the summer season solstice in Malaga, Spain June 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jon Nazca
People may very well be ingesting the equal of a bank card of plastic every week, a current examine by WWF International concluded, primarily in consuming water but additionally by way of meals like shellfish, which are typically eaten complete so the plastic of their digestive programs can be consumed.
Reuters used the findings of the examine as an example what this quantity of plastic truly appears to be like like over numerous durations of time. (Open right here in an exterior browser to see a visualization of the quantity of microplastic we consume.)
Plastic manufacturing has surged in the final 50 years, resulting in the widespread use of cheap disposable merchandise which are having a devastating impact on the surroundings, cluttering seashores and choking marine wildlife.
Plastic doesn’t biodegrade. Instead, it breaks down into smaller items, and in the end finally ends up in every single place, together with in the meals chain.
In every week, we ingest a plastic bottle cap’s value, and in six months, we consume a cereal bowl full.
This could not sound like a lot, however it will possibly add up. At this charge of consumption, in a decade, we may very well be consuming 2.5 kg in plastic.
And over a lifetime, we consume about 20 kg (44 lb) of microplastic.
We additionally don’t totally know what impression this ingestion of micro and nano-sized plastic particles has on our well being, mentioned Thava Palanisami of Australia’s University of Newcastle, who labored on the WWF examine.
“All we know is that we are ingesting it and that it has the potential to cause toxicity. That is definitely a cause for concern,” he mentioned.
Reporting by Simon Scarr and Anand Katakam; Additional reporting by Marco Hernandez, Manas Sharma and John Geddie; Editing by Karishma Singh and Robert Birsel.