What’s to be done about plastic particles found in water bottles?
Dive Brief: According to a report from Orb Media, a nonprofit digital journalism organization based in Washington, D.C., 93% of 259 bottles of branded water it tested contained microscopic pieces of plastic.
The average across all brands was 325 microplastic particles per liter.
The study found a wide range of microscopic plastic particle levels across brands — and even varying levels within brands — which makes it hard to gauge the severity of these findings.
The report noted that most ingested microparticles, depending on size, could pass through the intestines and not cause problems, but that some could possibly migrate to the lymphatic system.
It added that little research has been done in this area and that some scientists view that factor as cause for concern.
These findings may not be a surprise to the waste industry, however.
Marine waste — and plastics especially — have been a hot topic for years, and the industry is well-aware of how much plastic winds up in waterways on a regular basis.
Plastics in water do break down overtime, creating the microplastic particles that Nestle and Coca-Cola said are common in the environment.
Canada’s environment minister, for example, recently declared she wants to build on a "zero-plastics-waste" charter, and British Prime Minister Theresa May wants her country to cut out all "avoidable" plastic waste in the next 25 years.
And it’s not just governments.