8 Products You Didn’t Know Contain Hidden Microplastic
We’ve created a world where we depend on plastic – and hidden microplastic is one of the prices we must now pay. About two-thirds of all plastic ever made still remains in our environment, slowly breaking down into microplastics.
Microplastic surrounds us, and the average person consumes 5 grams per week – the equivalent of eating a plastic button. At this rate, over our lifetime we will each eat 20kg or 44lbs of microplastic.
So where does it all come from? You might be surprised where we are finding hidden microplastic.
8 Items With Hidden Microplastic
In an analysis of sea salt, researchers found hidden microplastic. 90% of table salt brands sampled contained microplastic, including brands from all over the globe. The source of the microplastics? Sea water. Salt in China was found to have 550 – 681 particles of microplastic per kilogram of sea salt.
Researchers have recently found microplastics in fruits and veggies, with the worst offender being apples at 233,000 plastic particles per gram of apple.
- Tap water
An international study found 83% of samples of tap water contain microplastics. In total, 159 samples were reviewed from five continents.
- Bottled water
Bottled water is no better – another study revealed that 93% of the bottled water tested contained microplastics. Researchers found 325 particles of microplastic in each liter of bottled water on average. In total, 259 bottles and 11 brands were tested, all purchased from 19 different locations in 9 different countries.
Multiple studies have shown microplastic in beer, which comes as no surprise considering the state of our water supply. One study conducted at the University of Minnesota found hidden microplastic in 12 different brands of beer, all made from water from the Great Lakes. Another study testing 24 brands of German beerrevealed that 100% of the samples contain microplastic.
Glitter might seem cheerful, but it’s hiding a sad truth – it’s really just pre-made microplastics. Worse still, glitter ends up in our waterways and has negative impacts on the plants and animals who depend on the ecosystem to live.
- Chewing gum
Shockingly, gum companies make their gum with plastic intentionally. Although the ingredient list just says “gum base,” most of the time that base contains plastic. Look for brands that advertise plastic-free and natural to avoid it.
96% of teabags contain hidden microplastic. Although they appear to be made from cotton, they are actually about 25% plastic. The plastic keeps the tea bag shut and allows it to withstand the heat of boiling water. More on that here.
Did any of the hidden microplastic on the list surprise you? Leave a comment below and let me know!
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