We drink close to a few grams of plastic particles every month, say researchers. Large numbers of plastic particles move through our water supply and often end up in landfills and as fertilizers. Researchers from Washington State University made these findings. They said the particles are on the nanoscale size, and move through our fresh water supply, or settle out in wastewater treatment plants.
We’re Drinking Plastic
“We are drinking almost a few grams of plastics every month or so. That is concerning because you don’t know what will happen after 20 years,” said study lead Indranil Chowdhury in their public release. The team’s findings were published the high-impact journal, Water Research.
The researchers said that about eight trillion pieces of these micro plastic particles go through wastewater treatment plants and end up in the aquatic environment. These small plastic particles usually come from common plastics we use. About 90 percent of tap water in the U.S. contains these invisible plastic particles. We’re basically drinking in a lot of micro plastic particles.
Impact of Plastic Products
The researchers looked at nanoparticles of polyethylene and polystyrene. These come from common plastic products like plastic bags, personal care products, kitchen appliances, disposable drinking cups and packaging material. The researchers looked at how these particles become stable and stay in the water supply, eventually ending up in the environment.
Salt and Organic Matter
They found that salt and natural organic matter play significant roles in determining how these plastic particles move or settle. Drinking water treatment plants are not removing many these particles from our drinking water. The result is these micro plastic particles are ending up in the water supply and environment.
It’s not known what are the health and environmental impact of these particles over the long term.
The current solution is to reduce the use of single-plastic products as much as possible. At least you should try to recycle plastic products.