There’s probably plastic in your salt, a study finds. Sixteen brands of store-bought sea salt were examined by researchers from Malaysia and England, and the results showed that it had traces of microplastics.
Though the amount of microplastics found in the sampled sea salt was relatively harmless, this shouldn’t mean we can put this issue aside.
In 2015, it was discovered that the ocean is littered with eight million metric tons of plastic waste, and in a new study, it was found that microplastics account for only one percent of it (for now). (By the way, this one percent is equal to 93,000 to 236,000 metric tons—which would be around the same mass as more or less 1,500 blue whales.) But because microplastics are mostly formed by the degradation of larger plastic debris, if we continue to pollute the environment with plastic, we can expect the percentage to increase.
As it is now, we’re ingesting thousands of microplastic particles annually from our seafood, and these can accumulate in the body. Eventually, we may even end up with more plastic than fish, if we don’t take action now.
We need to do more than just recycle our plastic—it’s time to stop using it, altogether. But being surrounded by establishments that offer single-use plastic products, is it really possible to take out plastic from our lives? Yes. We can start by bringing our own reusable tumblers for our coffee or water, having pocketable tote bags for our shopping, and investing in steel tableware such as metal straws, food containers, and cutlery for those packed lunches. These are simple solutions, but it’s a step to making sure future generations will still have seafood to speak of.