We eat equivalent of one credit card's worth of plastic a week, study finds

Eco 13/06/2019

In a confronting new study undertaken by scientists at Australia's University of Newcastle, it has been found that the average person could be ingesting 2000 tiny pieces of plastic every week - the equivalent of a credit card - with drinking water the largest source.

The study, commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund, combined data from over 50 studies on the ingestion of microplastics (which are plastic particles under five millimetres in size) and concluded that people around the world are consuming about five grams of microplastics per week, or just over 250 grams annually.

The study further found that drinking water was the largest source for consuming microplastics. The plastic particles were found in bottled, tap, surface and groundwater all across the globe.

Shellfish, beer and salt are the consumables with the highest recorded levels of plastic.

"Since 2000, the world has produced as much plastic as all the preceding years combined, a third of which is leaked into nature," the report said.

The average person could be consuming 1,769 particles of plastic every week from water alone, it said.

The amount of plastic pollution varies by location, but nowhere is untouched, said the report, which was based on the conclusions of 52 other studies.