London (dpa) – People around the world ingest an average of 5 grams of plastic per week, equivalent to a standard credit card, a study found on Wednesday…

The single largest source of plastic ingestion worldwide is water, both bottled and from the tap, experts at the University of Newcastle in Australia reported in a study commissioned by the WWF.

Shellfish, beer and salt were some of the other consumables with the highest recorded plastic levels. The study combined data from more than 50 studies of ingestion of microplastics, which are defined as particles up to 5 millimetres in diameter.

The new study estimated that people consume an average of about 2,000 microplastic particles weekly, equivalent to just over 250 grams annually, as part of a global culture of “throw-away plastic consumption.”

It found large regional variations, with twice as much plastic found in water in the United States and India as water in Europe or Indonesia.

“While the awareness of microplastics and their impact on the environment is increasing, this study has helped to provide an accurate calculation of ingestion rates for the first time,” said microplastics researcher Thava Palanisami, the project co-leader for the university.

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Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, said the findings should be a “wake-up call” for governments around the world.

“Not only are plastics polluting our oceans and waterways and killing marine life – it’s in all of us and we can’t escape consuming plastics,” Lambertini said.

“Global action is urgent and essential to tackling this crisis,” he added.

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Author: ANA Newswire