How to Eat Less Plastic

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How much plastic do I eat?

Studies have found that the average person consumes about 2,000 tiny pieces of plastic each week, roughly the weight of a credit card. This translates to approximately 104,000 tiny pieces of plastic for a total of 1/2 lb. of plastic or roughly 52 credit cards each year!

Where is the plastic I’m eating coming from?

The tiny pieces of plastic or microplastic we are consuming is created by the disintegration of plastic litter. This includes the disintegration of plastic water bottles and plastic bags. Globally we use a trillion plastic bags each year, which is approximately 10 million bags every 5 minutes, and every day around 8 million pieces of plastic makes their way into our oceans. Of all litter, plastic litter has the greatest potential to harm humans.

What do I eat that contains plastic?

We consume plastic when we drink tap water, bottled water, and beer, and when we eat fish and seafood. Microplastic has also been found in honey, milk, bread, and tea bags, and in any food that comes out of a tin can. Most tin cans are lined with BPA, a source of microplastic that leaches into the contents of the food.

What is the health impact of consuming plastic?

While we do not yet know the impact to our health from consuming plastic, we do know that plastic contains toxic substances. We also know that some of the pieces of plastic are small enough to penetrate human tissue and can cause immune reactions and neurological issues.

How can I consume less plastic?

  • Drink filtered tap water.
  • Don’t drink bottled water.
  • Avoid storing food in plastic containers.
  • Buy and store food in glass.
  • Don’t eat food from plastic containers.
  • Eat fresh food.
  • Don’t heat food in plastic containers.
  • Use the stove to heat food or microwave in a glass container.
  • Reduce your consumption of fish and seafood.
  • Avoid eating food stored in tin cans.
  • Avoid beauty products with microbeads

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About the author

Annamarie Salyer

Annamarie Salyer FNP-C is the co-founder of Bion Healthcare, a Functional Medicine practitioner, and author of the Bion Healthcare Blog. Mrs. Salyer, her husband, and their two daughters call the Indianapolis area home.

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