New study points to the presence of microplastics in bottled waters

A new report from French NGO Agir pour l’environnement assesses that over 78% of bottled waters analysed in France are contaminated with microplastics. 

The commissionned laboratory has noted the presence of microplastics in both virgin plastic bottles and recycled plastic, with the presence of micro plastics ranging from 1 to 121 microparticles per litre.

Microplastics are solid plastic particles typically smaller than 5mm and composed of mixtures of polymers and functional additives. Microplastics can be unintentionally formed when larger pieces of plastic wear and tear or are recycled. 

This new information on microplastic contamination is all-the-more worrisome since another recent study detected the presence of microplastic pollution in human blood for the first time back in March 2022. The document notably proved that these particles could travel in the body and possibly lodge in organs. 

In December 2020, SAFE wrote a report about recycled plastic in food contact materials which stressed the importance of considering recycled plastics in FCMs as a high-risk issue because of the high possibility of hazardous substances migration from FCMs containing recycled plastics into foods. 

It is clear that the prevention of consumers’ health needs to consider the food contact materials that they daily use. Last October, SAFE published its Guidelines for consumers and consumer organization on the safe use of FCMs, with the aim to inform consumers about the correct use of FCM and the possible safety issue triggered by their misuse. 

SAFE advocates for a new European regulation on chemicals in food contact materials which ensures a high level of human health protection and where the presence and migration of chemical substances in food contact articles ought to be measured, evaluated, and controlled.