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We have proof that plastics and food don’t mix

Letter to the Editor
Sunday, January 6, 2019

Editor,

If you’re still thinking about New Year’s resolutions, you might consider something simple and close to home, plastic bags and water bottles.

One afternoon during the holidays, I watched shoppers exiting the H-E-B with grocery carts loaded with groceries stuffed in plastic bags, the kind that we sometimes see in the San Marcos River and tumbling in the wind beside the road. According to a lot of studies, plastics and food are not compatible.

One researcher at the Medical University of Vienna, who specializes in stomach disorders, examined eight people from eight different countries and found that all of them had microplastic particles large enough to be barely seen inside their bodies; these included polypropylene and other common plastics. Plastic particles, the study showed, can enter the bloodstream, the lymphatic system and the liver.

You probably know that plastic fibers and fragments exist though the food chain, in plankton and fish larva, as well as in bottled water, seafoods, honey and salt. One analysis of water bottles found an average of 325 plastic particles in every liter of water. One popular brand had 10,000 particles per liter.

Plastic is non-degradable, it can’t be broken down, and according to a researcher at the University College of London, who specializes in microscopic plastic pollution, can stay in our bodies for a lifetime. In addition, detectable levels of one whole group of toxic chemicals used to make plastics were found in the urine of 95 percent of Adult Americans.

It is just common sense to get rid of our dependence on plastic bags, water bottles, cups, and, yes, plastic straws, making a clearer, safer city, and better 2019 for us and our children.

(Much of this information is from the Hufffington Post Impact Series, 12/8/2018)

Jerry Whitus

San Marcos