A 2019 study found that the plastic ingested every week by the average person is roughly equal to that of a credit card. Often this is in the form of tiny plastic, invisible to the naked eye, called micro-plastics.
So how can we avoid them?
8 easy tips for avoiding micro-plastics:
Hand wash your clothes, pet beds and toys or wash them on a low heat setting and hang to dry. Don't wash on a delicate cycle, a recent study has shown this actually releases more microplastics than a regular cycle.
Buy clothes, pet toys, beds and collars/harnesses made from natural fabrics, such as cotton, hemp, linen, silk or wool instead of synthetic materials.
Stop buying bottled water (or any bottled drink for that matter)! Bottled water has twice as much micro-plastic as tap water. You can also buy filters for your tap water which filter out any micro-plastics.
Use public transport - car tyres are a major source of micro-plastic pollution.
Don't microwave food in plastic, including those microwave meals. Remove food into a ceramic or glass container before microwaving.
Avoid seafood - plastic accumulates in the ocean and then in the fish we eat.
Avoid teabags and use loose leaf tea or reusable/refillable linen tea bags instead. One recent study found that, when a plastic tea bag was brewed, 11.6 billion microplastics and 3.1 billion nanoplastics were released into the drink.
Vote for policies and politicians that seek to tackle plastic pollution.