You have plastic in your body. Is that bad?

Article by Isabel Key and Mina Frost.

Plastic is an incredible invention. It is super cheap to make and can be used for a countless number of things [1, 2], but NOT as food.

When plastic stays in the ocean for some time, it breaks into smaller bits called “microplastic”. There are 51 trillion such pieces in the ocean [3], where they are eaten by plankton. Fish eat plankton. And we eat fish [4]. Microplastics can even end up in tap water and beer [5]!

Plastics aren’t necessarily a health risk and there are reports claiming that the chemicals that make them soft, hard, or transparent are safe too [9]. However, other studies show that these chemicals can have very bad effects on humans [6]. We don’t yet know which side is right, but we do know that these chemicals are already in most people’s bodies [7, 8].

When complaining about things like these, we often forget to think about effects of the alternatives. In one of our next posts, we’ll talk about why replacing plastic is often NOT a good option.

References

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