Bringing the Ocean to Society
11 May 2017
Marine litter, microplastics and table salt
A pollution marine journey that ends in your meal.

We are consuming microplastics through the salt we use in food. That is the main conclusion coming from an international study of 17 commercial salt brands sold in many countries, which was recently published in Nature. On average, each person will consume a maximum of 37 microplastic particles per year through the salt. The study also shows however that for now the consumed microplastics hardly have an immediate health impact. In the long term nevertheless health effects may be greater, since the consumption of microplastics is taking place not only through table salt but also via fish and shellfish.

The study analysed samples from Portugal, Australia, France, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand and South Africa. The researchers advise that a regular monitoring of the levels of microplastics present in our different marine products in order to estimate the potential the impact on human health. On other hand, Eunomia estimates that every year over 12 million tons of plastics are deposited in the seas.

Marine litter and plastic pollution was one of the topics addressed by the MARINA project, in which EurOcean is a partner, in a workshop held recently in Brussels. EurOcean Executive-Director, Ned Dwyer will be presenting the main outcomes of this event during a workshop on May 18th at the European Maritime Day conference in Poole, UK.