Credit Card's Worth of Plastic Swallowed by Each Person Weekly, Study Says
|Monday, June 17, 2019 | Author: ProCon.org | MORE HEADLINES|
Source: Nick Youngson/Alpha Stock Images, "Credit Cards," alphastockimages.com, Dec. 2015
A University of Newcastle study has found that people swallow five grams (about 2,000 particles) of microplastics a week, about the amount in a credit card. The plastics can come from clothes, microbeads from toothpastes, or larger pieces of plastic that break down as they're exposed to the outdoors.
Internationally, India and Canada aim to eliminate single-use plastic items by 2022 and 2023 respectively. The European Union has called to ban the 10 single-use plastic items found the most on European beaches by 2021.
However, some believe single-use plastic bans are not the answer. The Center for Disability Rights notes that people who are unable to lift cups rely on bendable plastic straws to drink, for nourishment, and sometimes to take medicine. Reusable straws aren't always a feasible substitute because they must be sterilized, and paper straws can be a choking risk.
Andrew Glover, PhD, sociologist, stated, "Single-use plastic-bag bans, drinking-straw bans and elaborate container-deposit schemes are all examples of policies that mix high visibility with scant global impact. Policymakers and legislators in the developed world may favour these measures, since they give the appearance that governments are acting on the issue of plastic waste, but they are unlikely to move the needle much on the total amount contained in our oceans."
|1. Should single-use plastics be banned? Which ones? Why or why not?
2. What are other or better ways to reduce microplastics? Explain your position.
3. Should we be concerned about microplastics? Explain your answer.