A recent study for WWF found that the average person is eating 5 grams of plastic every week. That’s as good as eating a credit card.
A study by the University of Newcastle that was commissioned by WWF discovered that people consume about a credit card’s worth of plastic every week. That’s 5 grams of microplastics, coming from food, water and even the air.
(Also read: How to Reuse Plastic Takeaway Containers Safely)
Microplastics are in our water and food
According to the report, an estimated 2,000 plastic particles are ingested by each person every week, mainly through drinking water (both tap and bottled) and eating shellfish. The source of microplastics? Litter from artificial fibres, microbeads and bigger pieces of plastic that break down. As a lot of waste ends up in the waters, they get broken down further, and pollute the environment.
Though the water in Singapore is clean, microplastics can enter our system when we consume seafood – in particular, shellfish.
Shellfish is the second biggest source of plastic ingestion, following water. The reason being, we consume shellfish whole, including their digestive system that contains microplastics.
(Also read: Where to Enjoy Sustainable Dining in Singapore)
The health risks microplastics can bring about
Though the danger of ingesting microplastics is relatively unknown, we shouldn’t be too relieved because plastic is not meant to be eaten.
Additionally, plastic’s long lifespan in the ocean allows it to pick up lots of bacteria and chemicals that can injure or kill our cells.
Researchers, scientists and environmental groups are still pushing for further studies to be done.
What you can do about this
As you are unable to check the amount of plastic in your food, you can’t cut microplastics out completely.
Collectively, we need to work together to produce less waste, as everything moves in a circle and ends up in our food chain eventually.