Experts warn that people all over the world are eating plastic and may not even know it.
One 2018 study revealed plastic particles were found in 93% of bottled water samples and 83% of tap water samples. Other research has shown tiny plastics show up in beer, wine, rice, table salt, honey, and even fruits and veggies.
Some scientists estimate the average person might eat five grams of microplastics in a week. That’s about the weight of a credit card.
Inhaling airborne microplastics has been shown to cause respiratory problems. Research in mice suggests ingesting them can affect reproduction.
Plastics also contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which can lead to various health problems. Experts say you can limit your exposure by using your own plastic-free containers, carrying reusable totes instead of plastic bags, and ditching plastic water bottles.
In 1950, about 1.7 million tons of synthetic plastic were made each year. Today, it’s more than 400 million tons annually.