In a first of its kind study, researchers found that the average person eats at least 50,000 plastic particles, or microplastics, a year. And that’s just eating… the study also found that average person also breathes in a similar quantity.
If you think that sounds bad, we're not sure if you should keep reading...
Because the actual number of microplastics that enter our body (by food or by air) is likely to be many times higher, as the study only examined a small number of food and drink items for plastic contamination.
That all will make sense once you understand the methodology of the study, which used data from 26 previous studies that measured the amounts of microplastic particles in foods such as fish and sugar, drinks such as beer and water, and even the air in cities. And then used US government dietary guidelines to calculate how many particles people would eat in a year.
Do you see how they put 2 and 2 together? Most food and drink items were not included in this calculation, the study really only assessed 15% of calorie intake. The other 85% of our diet may very well contain just as much, if not more plastic particles!
So really, 50,000 plastic particles a year is only the tip of the iceberg.
So, why is this news? Well, while this research still has a lot of gaps to fill, it’s the first step in understanding the total effects of plastic pollution. The next step is to determine the health effects of eating or breathing microplastic particles, as this is still entirely unknown.
But one thing’s for sure, drinking a lot of bottled water will drastically increase the number of plastic particles you consume in a year. If you only drank tap water, you’d consumer about 4,000 particles a year, but if you only drank bottled water… you’d consume around 130,000!
So ditch those single-use plastic water bottles people!