You`re consuming plastic equivalent to one credit card every week

You may be eating a credit card's worth of plastic each week finds study

The study No Plastic in Nature: Assessing Plastic Ingestion from Nature to People, commissioned by World Wildlife Fund, found that the average person could be ingesting up to five grams of microplastic a week.

Coming mostly from the tap and especially bottled water, almost invisible bits of polymer were also found in shellfish, beer and salt, scientists and the University of Newcastle in Australia reported.

The study said that the amount of plastic consumed by a person depends on their geographic location and lifestyle options, but that the average person could be ingesting nearly 1,800 fibres every week just from water.

So where do we consume the bulk of these plastic particles?

"Plastics are polluting not only our oceans and waterways but also marine life and humans".

The group said that since 2000 the world has produced as much plastic as all the preceding years combined, a third of which is leaked into nature.

A WWF petition calling for a legally binding treaty on marine plastics pollution has so far gathering more than half a million signatures.

The researchers note that their study "builds on a limited set of evidence, and comes with limitations" - including a "lack of data available on crucial metrics, such as weight and size distribution of microplastics in natural environments".

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"Developing a method for transforming counts of microplastic particles into masses will help determine the potential toxicological risks for humans moving forward."

Some experts remain sceptical about longterm impacts.

But that doesn't mean plastics isn't a major problem, he added.

People worldwide swallow around five grams of microplastics per week, or around 250 grams a year, says the University of Newcastle's No Plastic in Nature report.

Media and watchdog reports have recently uncovered numerous cases of plastic waste from rich countries destined for recycling in poorer ones being dumped or burned instead.

Alec Taylor, Head of Marina Policy at WWF, added: "Plastic is polluting our planet in the deepest ocean trenches, but now we know that it's also polluting our own bodies through the food we eat and the water we drink".

WWF said the leakage of plastic into the environment and food chain has been met with an inadequate global response from governments. "Therefore we need to tackle plastic pollution at its very source [and] stop it from getting into the nature in the first place". The website uses the study's findings to approximate consumers' likely personal weekly plastic consumption.

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