ROANOKE, Va. – Plastic is everywhere.
But it has become more than just a part of our lives -- Consumer Reports says it has unwittingly become a part of our diet, too.
"As we use all of this plastic, little tiny fragments break off of the water bottles or plastic bags or wrappings. We call these little fragments microplastics -- they're five millimeters at their largest but they can be much smaller, they can be microscopic," says Kevin Loria, Consumer Reports health editor. "And they end up in the food that we eat, the water that we drink and even the air that we breathe."
According to early results from a forthcoming study from the University of New Castle in Australia, researchers estimate the average person consumes up to 5 grams of plastic a week -- the equivalent of a credit card.
The Plastics Industry Association said in a statement to consumer reports, that research has not shown "significant human health impacts" from microplastics, but this is something that requires further study.
"Experts that we've spoken with say that it's very likely there are going to be at least some health effects," said Loria. "It's possible, for example, that ingesting microplastics might increase our exposure to some other chemicals that we know are in some plastics. chemicals that we know have harmful health effects."
To eat less plastic, Consumer Reports says start by drinking tap water. Microplastic levels in bottled water can be twice as high as tap.
Don't heat food in plastic and eat more fresh food. It may expose you to fewer chemicals than wrapped, packaged and processed food.