People 'eating a credit card' each week

The average person ingests a credit card worth of microplastics each week through drinking water and consumables such as beer and shellfish.

UPDATED 12/06/2019

The average person could be ingesting 2000 tiny pieces of plastic every week - the equivalent of a credit card - with drinking water the largest source.

The No Plastic in Nature report from the University of Newcastle, commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund, suggests people around the world are consuming about five grams of microplastics per week, or just over 250 grams annually.

The study combines data from over 50 studies on the ingestion of microplastics, which are plastic particles under five millimetres in size.

Drinking water is the largest contributor, with the plastic particles found in bottled, tap, surface and groundwater all over the world.

Shellfish, beer and salt are the consumables with the highest recorded levels of plastic.

WWF International's director general Marco Lambertini says the findings should serve as a wake-up call to governments.

"Not only are plastics polluting our oceans and waterways and killing marine life - it's in all of us and we can't escape consuming plastics," he said in a statement.

"Global action is urgent and essential to tackling this crisis."

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