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Excuse Me…A Little Plastic in Your Tea?

Apr 12, 2024 - Blog by

Microplastics and nanoplastics—tiny plastic particles less than 5 millimeters across and less than 1 micrometer across respectively—have infiltrated every part of our bodies, including those of unborn babies and infants.

The Plastic Invasion

From 1950 to 2019, industry has manufactured 9.5 billion tons of plastic. Tellingly, plastics has become a trillion-dollar business. That’s a huge number, almost incomprehensible.  The saddest part is how rapidly that number is growing. In 2023, corporations produced approximately 360 million tons of plastic. Despite all the talk about saving the earth, recycling, and reducing single use plastics, production has more than doubled since 2005. Approximately 36% of plastics produced are used in packaging and single-use plastic products for food and beverage containers. Of that plastic, 85% ends up in landfills or waterways.

If that weren’t bad enough, the water in  single use plastic bottles can contain as many as 240,000 plastic particles. Plastic is everywhere and likely in your cup of tea because some teabags contain microplastics that can leach into your tea. Even if you don’t drink bottled water, microplastics are showing up everywhere from processed foods to beer to wild caught fish. You can’t hide, plastics will infiltrate your blood and organs.

Microplastics have been found in all parts of the body.

  • Lungs: Microplastics have been documented in human lung tissue, raising concerns about respiratory health.
  • Blood: These tiny bits have infiltrated our bloodstreams, with scientists confirming their presence in healthy adult volunteers.
  • Placenta: This lifeline between mother and fetus, has been found to contain microplastics in 100% of pregnant mothers tested. Researchers discovered them on both in maternal and fetal placental tissues, increasing the danger to unborn babies.
  • Breast milk: The evidence of microplastics in human breast milk, coupled with the fact these particles have been found in the human placenta, also represents a great concern, since it impacts infants, who are more vulnerable to the impacts of microplastics.

Action Steps – Join the Movement

Rise to the plastics challenge, it is imperative that we take proactive steps to safeguard our health and the well-being of our children:

  • Say “no” to plastic bottled water. Instead use a stainless-steel refillable water bottle. Hack: When you stay at a hotel, refuse the free bottled water and tell them why. Then go to the fitness room to fill your stainless-steel bottle. There is usually filtered water there.
  • Stop buying crap and they will stop making crap. Corporations feed off our demand for products made of plastic and contained in plastic, including beverages sold in plastic cups with plastic lids and plastic straws. Vote with your pocketbook. Stop supporting the plastic industry profiting off of our addiction to plastic.
  • Text the word PLASTIC to 31399 to reach out in support of The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act (S. 3127 / H.R.6053), which will hold plastic corporations responsible for plastic pollution.
  • Check out this article: For the Love of God, Stop Microwaving Plastic. Researcher and father, Kazi Albab Hussain, discovered that microwaving plastic containers releases millions of micro- and nanoplastics.
  • Check out the trailer to this documentary: Plastic People. This upcoming documentary will chronicle humanity’s fraught relationship with plastic and one woman’s mission to expose shocking revelations about the impact of microplastics on human health.

While the pervasive issue of microplastics may seem daunting, it is not insurmountable. By raising awareness, taking action, and demanding accountability, we can stem the tide of this silent invasion and pave the way for a healthier, plastic-free future.

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