Humans are ingesting around 5 grams of plastic every week, the equivalent of a credit card, due to the spread of "microplastics” in food, water and air, a new research suggested.
According to the study by Australia's University of Newcastle, 2,000 tiny plastic particles, coming from different sources, are being consumed around the globe every week.
This includes artificial clothes fibers, microbeads found in some toothpastes, or bigger decomposed pieces of plastic.
"It is very clear that the issue of microplastics is a global one. Even if countries clean up their backyard, it doesn't mean they will be safe as those [microplastic] particles could be entering from other sources," co-lead researcher Kala Senathirajah told CNN.
The study pointed out that water makes up the largest source of plastic ingestion given that the material ends up in our rivers and oceans, gets eaten by fish and other marine animals, finding its way to part of the food chain.
The second biggest source of plastic ingestion is shellfish, with an average ingestion of 0.5 grams per week, noting that "shellfish are eaten whole, including their digestive system, after a life in plastic polluted seas."
Globally, more than 330 million metric tons of plastic is produced each year, and global plastic production is expected to triple by 2050.