This is a blog post explaining how how microplastics can enter the food chain in the UK. Micro plastic pollution is a growing problem, particularly in marine environments.
- From the environment: The UK has a high level of plastic pollution in its rivers and oceans. This plastic pollution can break down into microplastics, which can then be ingested by marine life, such as fish and shellfish. These animals can then be consumed by humans, which is how microplastics can enter the human food chain.
- From food packaging: A study by the University of Portsmouth found that a traditional roast dinner can contain up to 230,000 microplastics. This is because many food products in the UK are packaged in plastic, and some of this plastic can break down into microplastics over time. When food is stored in plastic packaging, the microplastics can leach into the food.
- From air pollution: The UK also has a high level of air pollution, which is caused by the burning of fossil fuels. When plastic is burned, it releases microplastics into the air. These microplastics can then be deposited on food, or they can be inhaled by people and animals.
Here are some examples of foods that are more likely to contain microplastics in the UK:
- Seafood: Seafood is more likely to contain microplastics than other types of food. This is because marine life, such as fish and shellfish, can ingest microplastics from the water they live in.
- Food that is processed or packaged in plastic: Food that is processed or packaged in plastic is more likely to contain microplastics than food that is not. This is because the plastic packaging can break down into microplastics over time.
- Food that is grown in soil that has been contaminated with microplastics: Soil can become contaminated with microplastics from a number of sources, such as runoff from roads and rivers, or from the use of plastic mulches in agriculture. Food that is grown in soil that has been contaminated with microplastics is more likely to contain microplastics.
It is important to note that the amount of microplastics in food varies depending on the source of the food and the way it is produced and processed. However, even small amounts of microplastics can be harmful to human health. Therefore, it is important to take steps to reduce your exposure to microplastics.