Every time you sit down to eat, microplastics float in the air and land on your food, invisibly becoming a part of your stir fry or pasta e fagioli.
Over the course of a meal, you’re most likely consuming around 100 bits of microplastic and, over the course of a year, closer to 70,000 pieces.
So along with fat, protein, and carbohydrates, your body is also getting a steady dose of plastic waste.
To investigate this phenomenon, the researchers placed petri dishes with sticky surfaces next to dinner plates in three homes in the UK.
After 20 minutes, the dishes accumulated an average of 14 microplastics.
The team then extrapolated the size of the petri dish to match a dinner plate and the food on it, and determined that each meal attracts around 100 particles from broken down synthetic fabrics, carpets, car tires, clothing, and more.
It’s an alarming finding that adds to a growing body of research on how plastic contaminates the world.
Microplastics have been found in tap water, bottled water, seafood, and even in organic food fertilizer.