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How are we eating plastic?

Little Mashies food wraps, Little Mashies reusable straws, Little Mashies reusable baby food pouches


This week The University of Newcastle released a study that compared and collated 50 research papers from around the world in an aim to discover how much Microplastic we are consuming. It turns out we ingest about 5 grams a week. That’s the equivalent to a 250 gram block of butter per year! So my 7 year old daughter Ariella is likely to have ingested more than 1.5kgs of microplastic so far in her life. That thought is horrific! The next thing they plan to study is the likely effect on human health but do we need to wait until then to stop using single use plastic? Canada and the European Union have already decided to ban single use plastic items by 2021. Australia... why are we so behind on this? Our children matter too!

We are not hopeless though. We don’t have to wait for our gov to ban single use plastic we can start to change our habits now. I wrote to Ariellas school this week with a bunch of video links, lesson plans, and resources so they can make the school single use plastic free. I will not stop until they listen because 250 grams a year is too much! 


Don’t buy plastic wrapped in food

And the University of Newcastle paper isn’t the only one to announce these figures. The University of Victoria in Canada analysed 26 research papers and also concluded that people are ingesting at least 50,000 pieces of microplastic a year. For an explanation of what Microplastics are this 1 minute CNN video shows it really well.


Other than the obvious disturbing facts about us ingesting plastic a lot of the microplastic we are consuming could contain phthalates (DEHP) and the chemical BPA. Both chemicals are potentially harmful to human hormones, reproductive systems, and early childhood development and in many plastic products these chemicals still aren’t banned. More studies need to be done on the effects of low-dose chronic exposures to these chemicals because now we know we are consuming them in our drinking water, beer, seafood and salt. 

It’s clear we have got to put a stop to how much plastic we are each putting into the environment and food chain. If not for us then for our children, and for Earth!

Little Mashies reusables

For more info see this toolkit by Earth Day Org.


For a full list of articles about the University of Newcastle study see here: