photo: Unsplash / Jason Tuinstra
More than 90% of table salt brands contain microplastics, according to a new analysis by Greenpeace East Asia.
That means that every time you sprinkle some salt on your food, there’s a good chance that a rogue bit of microplastic has made it onto your plate.
The same study estimates that the average adult consumes 2,000 pieces of microplastic from salt each year. An earlier study estimated that the average person consumes 70,000 microplastics each year overall, and yet another study found that both tap and bottled water sources contain microplastic particles more often than not.
The Greenpeace analysis looked at 39 brands of table salt and found that 36 contained microplastics. The highest concentrations of microplastic were found in brands from Asia, and sea salt had more microplastic density than rock or lake salt.
Indonesia, which has been ranked the second-most polluted country in the world, had the most plastic-riddled salt.
It’s not that salt is uniquely susceptible to attracting microplastic. Instead, the contaminant is found in such high quantities because it pervades the global environment. For example, scientists have determined that more than 50 trillion microplastics are in the world’s oceans.
That’s more than 500 times as many stars as there are in our galaxy.
Even insects carry microplastics as they fly around.