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Food & Drink Items That Shockingly Contain Microplastics

Food & Drink Items That Shockingly Contain Microplastics

You’d be surprised by the shocking amount of everyday food and drink items that unfortunately contain microplastics. It is time to ban disposable plastics and support research into various different alternatives that are better for our health and the environment. Why? Because the longer we wait the more microplastics we will consume.


What are microplastics?

We know microplastics are bad but what exactly are they? Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic debris (smaller than 5mm in length), they are the result of the breakdown and disposal of consumer products and industrial waste. 

lots of plastic waste floating around blue ocean

Why are they harmful?

Microplastics are harmful as they can contain many different contaminants and harmful chemicals. When consumed (or inhaled), the microplastics increase our chances of a toxic effect, which can lead to various different health problems including; metabolic disturbances, neurotoxicity and cancer. Microplastics are also very harmful to aquatic creatures, as well as turtles and birds. Their stomachs get stuffed with plastics, blocking their digestive tracts and making it hard for them to consume food, resulting in them starving.

What food and drinks contain microplastics?

Fruit & Vegetables 

This includes carrots, broccoli, lettuce, apples and pears. Yes, even healthy foods contain microplastics. In fact, according to GreenPeace, apples had one of the highest microplastic counts in fruit, with an average of 195,500 plastic particles per gram, this statistic is shocking and quite scary. That means, most bites you take from an apple will contain microplastics.

Bottled water

This one may not come as too much as a surprise, considering the liquid is sitting in a huge piece of disposable plastic. However, water is one of the worst sources of microplastic. When the bottle is exposed to direct sunlight the infiltration only gets worse. A person who only drinks bottled water is ingesting approximately 130,000 microplastics annually, that isn’t even including other food or drink.

Salt

Salt is an ingredient the majority of us sprinkle into recipes and onto food items daily. But, did you know, one kg of sea salt contains around 212 microplastic particles? This could possibly be down to the amount of plastic debris dumped into the sea every single day.

Tea bags

Your beloved morning cuppa is likely to be riddled with billions of tiny plastic particles. The microplastics are leached as soon as the plastic tea bag is in contact with the hot water. Yes, many tea brands use paper bags however, they do often add plastic as a way of sealing and strengthening the bag. Loose leaf tea is a much better alternative to regular tea bags. 

Fish & Seafood

Almost all fish and seafood contain microplastics, they tend to mistake the plastics for food and eat it. Again, this is due to the amount of microplastics in the oceans. You may be thinking, but I don't eat the stomach and gut of the fish so how can I ingest microplastics? You do not have to eat these areas, traces of the microplastics are found throughout the whole body of sea creatures.

healthy colourful stuffed sandwich

How do microplastics enter our food chain?

As we have established, when plastics degrade they enter our food chain, but how do they get there? There are many different ways, here are a couple:


  • One main reason for microplastics entering our food chain is animals eating/ingesting contaminated foods. Eventually, these microplastics work their way to us.
  • Microplastics lying around your home (for example, a disposable water bottle) can land on food and be eaten.

What can we do to prevent this?

Stop using throwaway plastics, this includes straws, carrier bags, water bottles etc. And, support research into various different alternatives to plastic that are better for our health and the environment.

At Suusco, we offer a wide range of eco-friendly options that can help minimise the amount of microplastics you consume, join us on the journey.

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