PLASTIC pollution means we eat the equivalent of a credit card a week.
Scientists say an average of nearly 2,000 microparticles are inhaled or consumed in water, salt, seafood and beer every seven days.
1 Brits could be consuming up to 2,000 particles of plastic every seven days through drinking water and beer and consuming shellfishCredit: Getty – Contributor
It is as much plastic as used to make a bank card. But even that is likely to be an underestimate as the particles are also found in countless other foods.
WWF, which commissioned the study, said it should act as a wake-up call for the Government and demanded urgent action.
Marine police head Alec Taylor said: “We don’t want plastic in our ocean and we don’t want it on our plates.
“If we’re going to properly address the throwaway plastic pollution crisis, we need urgent action at government, business and consumer levels to tackle its root causes head on.”
The report is the latest to flag up the growing use of plastic and threat it poses to the environment and our health.
It focuses on particles smaller than 5mm and released as microbeads or by the breakdown of larger items such as carrier bags or tyres.
Researchers from the University of Newcastle in Australia analysed 52 previous studies to come up with the estimate.
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Most microplastics are consumed through water. But they are also found in the likes of honey, fish, sugar and bread as well as food packaging, none of which were included in the study. However, the long-term consequences of ingesting plastic are not fully understood.
Alec called on leaders to come up with a global and legally binding agreement to halt plastic pollution. Earlier research found the same weight of plastic has been produced since 2000 as since the beginning of time.
But Professor Alastair Grant, of the University of East Anglia, played down fears about eating it. He said: “I don’t think there’s evidence that eating plastic particles at these sort of levels is a significant health risk.”
Canada plans to ban environmentally harmful single-use plastics as early as 2021 to protect the world’s oceans says Prime Minister Justin Trudea