Average person eats up to five grams of plastic a week: study
Published Thursday, October 3, 2019 6:56PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 4, 2019 8:10AM EDT
A soon-to-be-released study from the University of New Castle in Australia claims that the average person consumes up to five grams of plastic a week.
Kevin Loria with Consumer Reports said that plastic consumption has unwittingly become part of our diet.
“As we use all of this plastic, little tiny fragments break off of the water bottles or plastic bags or wrappings,” Loria said.
“We call these little fragments microplastics. They're five millimeters at their largest, but they can be much smaller, they can be microscopic. And they end up in the food that we eat, the water that we drink and even the air that we breathe.”
CTV News Toronto took to the streets and asked people in the city if they knew they were consuming plastic on a daily basis.
“Eating plastic just doesn’t seem right,” one man said. “The way society is consuming, it’s pretty much possible,” said another woman.
In a statement to Consumer Reports, the Plastics Industry Association said that research has not shown "significant human health impacts" from microplastics, but it is something that requires further study.
Some of the chemicals in microplastics have been linked to a variety of potential health problems, including reduced fertility, obesity, organ damage, developmental delays in children and even cancer. Loria says that means negative health effects in humans is likely.
“It's possible, for example, that ingesting microplastics might increase our exposure to some other chemicals that we know are in some plastics. Chemicals that we know have harmful health effects,"
How can you eat less plastic? First, start by drinking tap water. Microplastic levels in bottled water can be twice as high as tap.
Consumer Reports also recommend not heating food in plastic. By eating more fresh food, it may expose you to fewer concerning chemicals than wrapped, packaged and processed items.
Another place you may be ingesting plastic is household dust. It is a big source of both microplastics and chemicals like phthalates.