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

by Reuters
Wednesday, 12 June 2019 00:01 GMT

A credit card is seen in this picture illustration taken in Bordeaux, southwest France, August 22, 2016. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

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Largest source of plastic ingestion is drinking water, but another major source is shellfish, which tend to be eaten whole, says study

GENEVA, June 12 (Reuters) - Plastic pollution is so widespread in the environment that you may be ingesting five grams a week, the equivalent of eating a credit card, a study commissioned by the environmental charity WWF International said on Wednesday.

The study by Australia's University of Newcastle said the largest source of plastic ingestion was drinking water, but another major source was shellfish, which tended to be eaten whole so the plastic in their digestive system was consumed too.

"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.

In the United States, 94.4% of tap water samples contained plastic fibres, with an average of 9.6 fibres per litre. European water was less polluted, with fibres showing up in only 72.2% of water samples, and only 3.8 fibres per litre.

(Reporting by Tom Miles Editing by Peter Graff)

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