There’s no doubt that the way we dispose of plastics is a problem. Each year, our species produces over 880 billion pounds of plastic waste. Sadly, 80% of it ends up in landfills, or somewhere out in nature… like the ocean. Well, now scientists have discovered that the broken down plastic waste we call Microplastics has made it all the way into us, and then out of us, as poop.
How is this happening? The easiest answer is food contamination. There’s even one study that found microplastics in 90% of table salt. This new, extremely “crappy” news comes to us from a study that is being presented at the 26th annual United European Gastroenterology conference in Vienna, Austria. In the study, researchers examined the fecal matter from people in eight different countries. Every single stool sample tested positive for plastics. On average, researchers found 20 particles of plastic per 10 grams of stool.
Each person included in the study kept a regular diet and maintained a food diary in the days leading up to their sample collection. Every participant had at least one beverage in a plastic container and also encountered foods wrapped in plastic. six of the eight subjects ate wild fish, and none of them were vegetarians.
Similar studies in animals have found that these microplastics don’t stick to the digestive tract. they end up entering the bloodstream, the lymphatic system, and even the liver. This can result in intestinal damage as well as liver stress and possibly worse.