Plastic particles in water are drop in the ocean

A recent study suggesting plastic bottles leak harmful particles into water doesn’t take into account the high number of other particles consumed by people on a daily basis.

That’s according to Steve Thomas, Head of Applied Science at Cambridge Consultants, who said he was surprised the number of particles found in the bottled water by the researchers was so low.

As a chemist who has often worked in laboratories, Mr Thomas said he had spent years trying to keep things clean from microscopic particles – he said it is very hard to keep them from contaminating things, even in sterile environments.

He added mechanical actions such as the moving parts of coffee machines, knives grinding into plastic chopping boards, walking on polypropylene carpets and even using a plastic toothbrush generate particles that enter our bodies when swallowed or inhaled.

He said drinking water directly out of the bottle is likely to result in ingesting fewer particles than through taking a glass out of the cupboard, filling it from the tap and then drinking it slowly while walking around the office.

Mr Thomas said: “The amount of plastic that mankind is distributing in the environment is bad – no question! And we need to replace as much as possible of it with materials that will break down and return their matter to the natural consumption cycles.

“But at the same time, we need to be practical about what we are ingesting and bear in mind that, unless we get our food processed in the same kind of factory that our super-fast computer processors are made in, we are going to be ingesting thousands of particles of plastic, ceramic, metal and each other.”

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BP predicts plastic ban to impact oil demandBP Plc has predicted that global demand for oil could be impacted by as much as 2 million barrels per day by 2040 due by governments’ efforts to regulate products such as a single-use plastic ban.

In its latest energy outlook unveiled 20 Feb, BP however, predicted that oil demand would continue to grow at about 0.5% through 2040.

According to the British press, commenting on the new outlook, BP’s chief economist Spencer Dale said the company believed that regulation against some types of petrochemicals, particularly single-use plastics, would increase in the coming years.

“As a result of that, we have less growth in non-combusted oils than we otherwise would have done,” Bloomberg quoted Dale as saying.

This, according to Dale, is not limited to the UK, which has recently seen a wave of actions and bans across a number of industries on single-use plastics.

“If you live in the UK that’s clearly been an issue, but it’s not just a UK-specific thing; you see it worldwide, for example China has changed some of its policies,” The Guardian quoted Dale as saying 20 Feb.

In February alone, the British royal estates, the BBC, and leading music festival Glastonbury have announced measures to cut single-use plastics.

The moves were prompted by a TV series Blue Planet II by Sir David Attenborough, which highlighted the scale of sea pollution.

Similar announcements have also been made by restaurant chains including Wagamama, Pizza Express and JD Wetherspoon.

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