A study by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health has found that more than 80 percent of tap-water samples collected on five continents contain plastic microbits. The rate is highest in the US, at 94.4 percent. India’s rate is 82.4 percent; across Europe, the average is 72.2 percent.
Plastic micro-waste also has been found in many of the world’s leading beer brands, as well as foods ranging from honey to flour.
These invisible plastic filaments have been shown to easily absorb harmful microbes and toxic chemicals. Digestion in mammals, from beef cattle to humans, releases these passengers to travel into an animal’s bloodstream.
These plastic micro-filaments are the bits of carpet that scuff off underfoot and float into the air. Tumble dryers release synthetic fabrics from clothes. Eight million tons of plastic waste are dumped into oceans each year, where they break down. Every piece of plastic in our lives sheds tiny scraps from wear and tear.
TRENDPOST: It took decades to fully develop, but the anti-plastic pollution trend is strengthening. While there are more public-awareness initiatives worldwide addressing environmental dangers of plastics, especially as they pollute the world’s oceans, new technologies testing how plastics could be made from biodegradable material are emerging. And reports such as the University of Minnesota’s study further fuel the race to replace plastics.