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How to reduce the amount of plastic you eat

That’s right, you read it correctly. Humans, like animals, are eating plastic. We’ve all read about dead animals found filled with plastic, but it’s important for humans to realize that they, too, are consuming plastic.

I recently wrote about how to reduce the amount of plastic we use in our lives. A Consumer Reports article, “How to Eat Less Plastic,” alerted me to the fact we need to go a step further and take a look at how much plastic we’re eating.

Research is just beginning on how many tiny particles of plastic people consume. One research review calculated that by eating, drinking, and breathing, the average American ingests 74,000 to 121,000 microplastic particles every year, with even more ingested if bottled water is consumed regularly, according to the article.

Consumer Reports suggests these six tips to reduce your exposure to plastic:

  1. Drink water from the tap.
  2. Don’t heat food in plastic.
  3. Avoid plastic food containers with known issues such as the recycling codes “3,” “6,” and “7,” except if they’re labeled as “biobased” or “greenware.”
  4. Eat more fresh food.
  5. Minimize household dust.
  6. Use glass instead of plastic, use reusable non-plastic, and support policies limiting the use of single-use plastic.

Read the article for details on these tips and for information on how plastic affects the health of humans.

Copyright 2019, Rita R. Robison, Consumer and Personal Finance Journalist

Comments

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Baby_boomster

That's kind of alarming. Something to think about for sure.

Rita

Hi Rebecca,

Not much research has been done yet about the amount of microplastic in people's bodies. One study estimated it's about the size of a credit card during a year's time.

That is alarming.

Corporations should have used high quality plastic that consumers paid a deposit for, then got it back when they returned the container. That was done for bottles of soda years ago. The bottling industry hated it and was able to kill it in most states.

This is just another example of how businesses and corporations don't care about consumers or the environment, but just do the cheapest thing so they can make more profits.

Rita

Carol Cassara

I am sure most people do not get this.

Rita

Hi Carol,

Don't get what? That small bits of plastic come off of containers or are in the fish and other items that we eat? That tiny bits of plastic are everywhere even in rainwater in remote areas?

I assume most people have seen photos on the internet of animals, including large fish, filled with plastic particles. The same thing is happening to humans, although the particles are very tiny microplastics.

Rita

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