Bottled water ‘could contain thousands of plastic particles’

The study says these particles could be harmful to human health

Pathway to COP26 report

Water contained in disposable plastic bottles can hold thousands of microscopic plastic particles.

That’s according to new research by nonprofit Orb Median and the State University of New York, which tested more than 250 bottles from 11 different brands.

The results revealed around 93% were contaminated with traces of plastic including polypropylene, nylon and polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

For plastic particles in the 0.10 millimeter size range, tests revealed a global average of 10.4 plastic particles per litre.

The tests also showed a much greater number of even smaller particles that researchers said are also likely plastic. The global average for these particles was 314.6 per litre.

The study said the number of overall particles counted was roughly twice as many as detected in tap water.

Polypropylene was the most common polymer, making up 54% of the particles – this material is commonly plastic used for bottle caps.

The report adds 4% of particles also showed presence of potentially harmful industrial lubricants.

The World Health Organisation has announced it is to launch a review into the potential risks of plastic in drinking water.

Latest Podcast