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Recycling matters

A study reveals 83% of the drinking water in the world contains microscopic plastic fibers, regardless of place of origin
Plastic bottles - File phto/EL UNIVERSAL
07/09/2017
09:00
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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The figures are shocking: 83% of the drinking water in the world contains microscopic plastic fibers. Regardless of where it comes from – be it from the Trump Tower or European, Latin American or African cities – all sources of water are contaminated. Another alarming fact is that not even bottled water or water filters are free of fibers.

This Orb Media study, published this Wednesday in EL UNIVERSAL, The Guardian, USA Today, La Repubblica and in other newspapers worldwide, establishes there aren't enough studies to determine the effects these fibers can have on our health.

People drinking two liters of water a day – in addition to coffee or tea – can ingest up to 2 thousand 900 hundred plastic fibers a year. Experts state that plastic waste has become a pollution source for seas and rivers, where thousands of plastic containers ultimately end up. The Pacific Ocean has a garbage “patch” the size of the state of Chihuahua.

According to a study by the Minnesota University with samples gathered by this newspaper from public drinking fountains and bottled water in Mexico City, 75% of the samples contained plastic micro fibers – far below the global average. There were no traces of fibers in the samples taken from University City and Iztacalco, yet this doesn't mean the areas are fiber-free.

Due to its size, the capital city of our country produces the most amount of waste in Mexico, generating daily 13 thousand tonnes of waste, of which only 15% is sent for recycling, according to the data of the Urban Management Agency. Plastic and styrofoam are the most common waste materials in households.

While scientists study the effect of plastic fibers on human health, we can all start by contributing from our home, making sure we have a stricter plastic waste control through waste management.

It's not about condemning or disappearing plastics, it's about making sure that at the end of their useful life, we dispose of them accordingly, in order to prevent an environmental hazard. Household waste management alone is of vital importance for the protection of our planet. Small actions, when performed by millions, can achieve dramatic results. Let's do it.

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