Sea polluted with plastic garbage
Sea polluted with plastic garbage fergregory

Our war on plastic is just the beginning


WE COULD be eating and drinking the equivalent of a credit card a week in microplastics.

A University of Newcastle study, commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund, was widely reported on earlier this week.

Drinking water is the largest contributor.

This means none of us can escape this microplastics debacle.

Not even vegans who seem to dodge most food consumption health issues and love letting the rest of us know our diets are terrible.

My partner's answer to this would be: 'drink beer instead. People who drank beer during the plague didn't die'.

I can only assume he means the bubonic plague circa 1600s in England.

But his severely flawed logic on how beer consumption will keep him in good health is about to fail him. I hate to break it to you, dear, but beer along with shellfish and salt are the consumables with the highest recorded levels of plastic.

Cue the sobbing of a grown man right about here.

I could not stop thinking about how we are all pretty much ATMs, the whole way home from my radio production gig on Wednesday night.

I also pondered how much plastic my one-year-old had digested.

I am the first to admit that I could do way better on the single-use plastic front.

However, if the Queensland shopping bag ban has taught us anything, what seems a cataclysmic change in habits quickly becomes the norm.

We got rid of plastic bags and the sky did not fall in.

Most people now dutifully carry their other bags into grocery stores, or have become skilled at balancing a wheel of brie on top of a sweet potato while juggling a couple of magazines and a screaming baby in the other arm.

The study shows, though, that a war on plastic bags is not enough.

Vanuatu has already banished many single-use plastic items because of the pollution problems over there.

Canada has promised to be rid of single-use plastic by 2021.

Even if Australia does not follow suit, it's becoming clear that we will have to change our habits regardless of our pollies' action - or inaction.

I must make some changes at home for the sake of my child's future and her health. Are you ready to assess your plastic habits too?

  • Letea Cavander is a freelance journalist. Get in touch with her on Facebook or follow along on Instagram @leteacavander.

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