Every Indian is possibly consuming approximately 5 grams of plastic every week? And drinking water is the largest source of microplastic in our diet – 82.4 percent of Indian tap water is contaminated. It’s in our salt, fish, beer, honey, and sugar.
Our life is plasticized. Microplastics have invaded our air, ocean, drinking water, and food. Although humans are not at risk from microplastic contamination yet, some intervention must be made to avoid future health hazards.
Microplastics are plastic particles sized from 1 nanometre to 5 millimeters that are increasingly contaminating not only ocean life but also food and water, according to the latest research.
Microplastic in Water
All sources of drinking water including groundwater, surface water, tap and bottled, are the largest supplier of microplastics in our daily diet. A 2019 WWF report revealed an average person consumes about 1,769 microplastic particles each week.
Microplastic in Food
Microplastics were identified in common fruits and vegetables, according to a 2020 study published in Environmental Research. The results showed apples had the highest microplastic count of 195,500 particles per gram followed by broccoli and carrots with more than 100,000 particles per gram. Lettuce was the least contaminated vegetable of all.
Microplastic harmful to human health?
The long-term effects of plastic consumption on human health are not yet clear, but studies are underway. However, fisheries and aquaculture research have already demonstrated the deleterious effect of plastic consumption. Food and Agriculture Organization of United States reported excess accumulation of microplastic in the digestive and respiratory system of marine fishes was associated with the higher mortality rate in aquatic organisms.
How to reduce microplastic consumption
It is impossible to live a plastic-free life. There are few steps that can reduce our plastic footprint.
· Both tap and bottled water contain microplastics. To avoid double sources of contamination, use tap water over bottled water. The best possible way is to use a suitable water purifier.
· Never microwave food in plastic utensils. Use glass cookware to heat your foods.
· Store your foods in glass or steel containers, wrap them in aluminum foil, or use plastics that are labeled as ‘recyclable’, ‘biodegradable’ or ‘environment friendly’.
· Eat fresh, home-cooked meals as much as possible. Avoid plastic-wrapped and packaged foods.
· Be responsible and don’t discard plastic here and there. Keep your beaches, drains, water bodies clean. Whenever possible, support your community, city, state, and country to keep your environment clean.
How Eswachh is helping in reducing Plastic in your life?
Eswachh is an End-to-End waste management company, Eswachh has developed a Platform that allows keeping track of the waste generated to the waste getting processed and recycled.
Eswachh works on the policy of zero waste to landfill and processes all the waste as per the category.
- Wet Waste is Composted to high grade manure
- Dry Waste is further segregated into 16 categories and processed by partner recyclers
- The Medical and Bio Hazardouse waste is incerenated.
- The Inert waste which is leftover of dry waste is sent to Waste to Energy plant.
With Zero waste going to landfills, there is no plastic or micro-plastic which gets into the food chain. Swachh Bharat Mission is focusing on Zero Waste to landfills and Source Segregation.