Posted on 12 June 2019
We know that plastic is devastating wildlife and plaguing our oceans, but until now we have known very little about the impact the broken plastic system is having on people. In this first-ever global study, we’ve discovered that on average, people could actually be ingesting approximately 5 grams of microplastics every week - that’s the equivalent of a credit card.
No Plastic in Nature: Assessing Plastic Ingestion from Nature to People commissioned by WWF and carried out by University of Newcastle, Australia finds we’re consuming about 2000 tiny pieces of plastic every week. That’s approximately 21 grams a month, just over 250 grams a year.
Whilst we certainly don’t recommend you stop drinking water or eating shellfish because of concerns over plastic, it is concerning that studies into the impacts of plastic ingestion by humans are few and far between. We’re yet to understand the full consequences of our throw-away plastic consumption.
What we do know is the leakage of plastic pollution into nature and ultimately into the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink is inescapable. This is alarming, and so far it’s been met with an inadequate global response by governments worldwide. This needs to be addressed immediately.
The findings of the report demonstrate that the problem of plastic pollution is a universal one and directly affecting people. All eyes must now be on governments to step up and play a key role in ensuring that all stakeholders in the entire chain in the plastic system, from manufacturers and producers to government leaders and consumers, are held accountable to the common goal of ending plastic pollution.
You can start by joining over 660,000 other people in signing the global petition calling for a legally binding treaty on marine plastics pollution.