I was stunned when I found out that any given person eats a credit card’s worth of plastic in just one week.
(I would even bet many people consume more than that!)
But, what can we expect?
Every single piece of plastic that has ever been created is still on our planet today, aside from what has been burned. In fact, we have around 9 billion tons in our landfills, oceans, and ecosystems.
These plastics never disappear. Instead, they break down into smaller and smaller pieces called microplastics.
And these microplastics are everywhere. They’re in the air we breathe, the products we use, the water we drink, and the food we eat.
Well, the risks of that are becoming IMPOSSIBLE to ignore…
TOXIC to humans
When I started looking more into microplastics, I found the research that suggested we may be consuming up to 5 grams of plastic each week—roughly the same amount as a credit card.
What a disgusting, terrifying fact!
Of course, there are more than 10,000 different chemicals that go into manufacturing the various forms of plastic we use. And up to 2,400 of them are toxic to humans.
Yet, microplastics have been found in human blood, lungs, colons, placentas, stools, and breast milk.
Plus, as I have mentioned time and time again, many of these chemicals act as endocrine-disruptors. And they wreak havoc on your hormonal system.
(I’m convinced this is the reason behind higher incidences of breast cancer, low testosterone in men, and even obesity.)
In fact, BPA (bisphenol A) is an infamous endocrine disruptor known to mimic estrogen. It’s been linked to multiple cancers, ADHD, and obesity.
Not to mention, “BPA-free” plastic is basically a marketing gimmick. In reality, these products are turning out to be just as bad for you—disrupting your hormones and destroying your metabolism.
A never-ending cycle
So, what happens—on a deeper level—when you ingest these particles?
An immune response is triggered when they enter your bloodstream. (The particles are foreign invaders and our bodies know it!)
When our white blood cells try to wipe them out, they’re unable to digest them. As a result, the cell dies and breaks apart, releasing those toxins and causing inflammation.
Then guess what happens? More white blood cells come to attack the invader… and it’s a never-ending, inflammatory cycle.
This chronic inflammation leads to chronic illness, like cancer, heart disease, and even neuropsychiatric diseases like Parkinson’s or depression.
What’s worse is that these chemicals act like sponges… sucking up environmental pollutants, like pesticides, fluorinated compounds, flame retardants—the list is endless. All of which we end up consuming!
Unfortunately, there’s no way to completely avoid microplastics. But you can limit your own exposure to plastic, as I do.
Stop using single-use plastic items (like plastic cups or utensils). Switch to paper or reusable grocery bags. Don’t store your food in plastic containers (use glass instead). Never cook or reheat food in a plastic dish. And avoid touching paper receipts.
Importantly, for any plastic you do use, please recycle.
Until next time,
“You could be swallowing a credit card’s weight in plastic every week.” CNN, 06/17/2019. (cnn.com/2019/06/11/health/microplastics-ingestion-wwf-study-scn-intl)
“Inventory finds more than 10,000 chemicals used in plastics manufacture.” Chemical & Engineering News, 07/06/2021. (cen.acs.org/environment/Inventory-finds-10000-chemicals-used/99/i25)