Humans ingesting microplastics 'equivalent to weight of a credit card each week'

You may be eating a credit card's worth of plastic each week- study

You may be eating a credit card's worth of plastic each week- study

According to the University of Newcastle, the amount of microplastics ingested by an individual still varies depending on a combination of parameters that include the characteristics of the microplastics, the person's age and size, geographical location and its demographics, nature of development as well as lifestyle options.

The study said that the amount of plastic consumed by a person depends on their geographic location and lifestyle options, but that the average person could be ingesting nearly 1,800 fibres every week just from water.

They found that the biggest source of plastic ingestion came from water, including tap and bottled water.

"Global action is urgent and essential to tackling this crisis", he added. The long-term consequences of plastic ingestion are not yet fully understood.

"Not only are plastics polluting our oceans and waterways and killing marine life, it's in all of us".

"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.

It also said that in the wider spectrum of things, ingestion is merely a single aspect of the greater plastic crisis.

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Research has shown that plastic pollution is now so extensive, that people could be eating five grams of microplastic per week without knowing it.

Large regional variations are reflected again, with twice as much plastic found in the USA or India than in European or Indonesian water.

It added that mismanagement of microplastics may cause the material to accumulate and/or be transferred through the food chain, ending up in our digestive system and bloodstream. WWF is mobilising the public to support the global petition calling for a legally binding treaty on marine plastics pollution that has already garnered over 500,000 signatures.

The WWF says that it hopes that the study will "ring the alarm for governments" to take action and regulate plastic waste. The findings of the report demonstrate that the problem of plastic pollution is a universal one and directly affecting people. The treaty would establish national targets and transparent reporting mechanisms that extend to companies.

It collated the findings of 50 global research papers in an attempt to provide an accurate calculation of ingestion rates.

The cost of plastic pollution is estimated to cost $11.5 billion to the ocean economy annually, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.

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