Plastics in Groundwater
You’ve heard that plastics are bad for the environment, that using biodegradable material such as paper is a much better option. But, did you know that you might be drinking plastic through your tap water? Researchers at the State University of New York, and the University of Minnesota have tested taps from five continents. Altogether testing up to 160 taps in different cities, with 83% of those taps containing plastic fibers. Now imagine you need to cook a recipe calling for water, such as cooking rice or pastas. Now your food could possibly contain plastic fibers. With the estimated decomposition timeline of 15 to 1,000 years, plastic waste will not likely be out of our world anytime soon.
As this was a recent study, ways to control the plastics in the groundwater are still being formulated. The problem is leading up to more unanswered questions about the effects it has on the human body. Many sources also point to the way our waste is handled, as much of the liquid waste filters down into the ground water constantly.
In the meantime, disposing of plastics properly ensures you are doing your part as a start to a safer groundwater. Using reusable bags at the grocery store - 10% of the plastic waste items found are plastic grocery bags. Reusable bags are typically cost effective at less than $1 per bag (depending where you buy them), and often come with shopping incentives such as five percent off your grocery purchase at some stores. Use metal water bottles over plastic, and if you do use a plastic one use it again and again.
Sometimes recycling our plastics can seem like a chore, or an inconvenience. But, we owe it to everyone to be more considerate and look out for each other. It’s important to remember that it’s not just your health on the line.