Malaysia consumes more plastic daily than 108 other countries combined, the study found

Malaysia It ranks highest among 109 countries for microplastic consumption, a recent study found.

A study published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology found that Malaysians consume an average of 502.3mg of microplastics per capita.

It noted that more than 50 percent of Malaysia’s microplastic consumption comes from fish.

Malaysia is also among the top 10 countries inhaling microplastic particles, estimated at 494,000 microplastic particles per person per day.

„Our study found countries that are rapidly industrializing IndonesiaMalaysia, Philippines And Vietnam „Globally, the increase in microplastics is at the top, stemming from high seafood consumption,” the report said.

Microplastics – plastic particles smaller than 5 mm – are commonly found in freshwater and marine environments, where they are ingested by organisms and then by humans.

The diagram shows how microplastics enter the food chain after being eaten by fish. Photo: Shutterstock

Industrial development is increasing the level of plastic pollution, said study authors Xiang Zhao, a professor at the National University of Defense Technology in China, and Fengyi Yu, a professor of energy systems engineering at Cornell University in the US.

„Food microplastics accumulate in food products and include material losses from plastic use in food and beverage production, processing and end-product packaging,” they said.

„Meanwhile, airborne microplastics originate mainly from the abrasion of plastic materials such as those in tires and blow-ups from aquatic plastic particles.”

A major source of aquatic microplastics is improperly handled plastic waste, landfill or open dumping, the study found.

„These plastic particles contaminate aquatic systems and microplastics in freshwater and saltwater environments, which are then dispersed by water currents or wind exchange and enter the food chain,” it said.

A Greenpeace campaigner shows samples of microplastics collected from the South China Sea. Plastic pollution contaminates seafood, which is then eaten by humans. Photo: Nora Tom

Airborne and dietary microplastic intake increased more than sixfold from 1990 to 2018 across Asia, Africa, and the Americas, including China and the United States, according to the study.

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Eliminating 90 percent of global aquatic plastic debris could reduce microplastic uptake in Southeast Asian countries by more than 48 percent, the authors said.

„To reduce microplastic increases and potential public health risks, governments in developing and industrialized countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, and North and South America should encourage the removal of free plastic debris in freshwater and saltwater environments through improved water treatment and effective solid waste management practices,” he said. They added.

This article was originally published Star

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