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The Plastic diet: has plastic pollution reached its tipping point?

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Plastic pollution has escalated to a crisis level, affecting human health and the environment
• Research highlights the alarming presence of micro and nanoplastics in our daily diet, with individuals consuming significant amounts of plastic unknowingly through food, water, and consumer products

🔭 The context: Studies reveal that humans ingest the equivalent of a credit card's worth of plastic weekly, primarily from microplastics and nanoplastics found in everyday items like to-go coffee cups, plastic bottles, and packaged foods
• These plastics, due to their small size, can enter human organs and the bloodstream, posing significant health risks

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The widespread presence of plastics in the food chain, including in fruits, vegetables, and other food products, highlights the urgent need for sustainable packaging solutions and stricter food safety guidelines
• This pollution contributes to the broader environmental crisis, impacting soil health and water quality

⏭️ What's next: Efforts to mitigate plastic pollution include reducing exposure to plastic products, advocating for policy changes for food safety, and promoting sustainable packaging alternatives (check out what the EU is doing against microplastics here)
• Ongoing research and testing by regulatory authorities like the FDA are crucial to ensuring food safety and minimizing plastic consumption

💬 One quote: "Nano-sized plastic particles are significantly harder to identify, and thereby quantify," (Phoebe Stapleton, associate professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Rutgers University)

📈 One stat: A 2019 World Wildlife Fund (WWF) study found that humans consume an average of a credit card-worth of plastic every week, or about 52 credit cards every year

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change

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