By Ajai Kumar Sonkar

One of my friends told me that single use plastic has been banned, he was very happy as if all the problems caused by the use of plastic have now ended. This shows how little we know about plastics and the widespread epidemic caused by them. Micron and nano sized plastic particles are continuously reaching our blood through many channels beyond our imagination. Taking a small example here, you must have used tea leaves kept in a small paper bag which is called a tea bag. I dipped a tea bag in hot water in a tea cup, the colour and taste of the tea dissolved in the cup, I analysed a drop of that tea in the microscope of my laboratory and found that there were countless numbers of micron sized plastic particles in that drop of the tea.

Plastic particles in the tea

This situation is scary. In fact, a paper tea bag contains 20 to 30 percent plastic fibres which migrate into our tea in millions of micron and nano sizes from where they reach our bloodstream.

This is not the only medium that sends plastic particles into our blood, plastic has reached deep into our lives. All our drinks and food are covered in plastic due to which micro particles of plastic are continuously reaching our blood.

I have a laboratory of microbiology and tissue culture in Prayagraj, where during an experiment I was analysing the mantle tissue of Andaman’s marine oyster under a microscope, then I saw the presence of some unknown particles in the tissue, after studying it came to know that they were micron sized plastic particles. I was perplexed where did it come from in the oyster’s tissue? It was natural that it must have come from blood, and must have come from food in blood. I did a thorough examination of seawater and its algae. I found tiny plastic particles in every sample of water and algae. Algae or plankton is the foundation of the food chain, it is the first rung of the food chain. From there it reached the blood of sea shells. Human blood is no exception to the process of plastic particles reaching the blood. I took samples The plastic we use and throw into the earth's atmosphere has come back home to our dinner plates.

A plastic particle in the Oyster’s mantle tissue

A plastic particle in the tea Plastic particles in the tea from every possible source of water, examined and found plastic particles in every sample. The plastic we use and throw into the earth's atmosphere has come back our home to our dinner plates.

The common molecular property of plastic is that its flexibility decreases with time and it becomes brittle and starts breaking. Exposure to sunlight in open environments accelerates the process of becoming brittle. Gradually the plastic breaks down into fine powder and spreads everywhere.

Flowing in the rain, it reaches our water sources, ponds, rivers, from there it reaches the ocean. These particles of micron and nano size are so small that they float in the air we breathe, reaching our lungs. Due to the presence of these plastic particles in the water, irrigation of vegetation has also become contaminated, micro particles of plastic have also reached fruits, vegetables and grains. Due to evaporation, when the water evaporates towards the sky, these plastic particles reach the clouds along with the vapour. And due to the rain, these plastic particles have reached even that remote and virgin places where humans do not live, in this way this poisonous substance spread by us has interfered in the process of evolution of nature by reaching the food and blood of all plants and other living beings.

Look around you, there is plastic all around us. From the water pipes of our houses, the water tank kept on the roof, food utensils, salt in our kitchen, almost every food item is contaminated with plastic.

According to a scientific study, a normal person is transporting about 5 grams of plastic particles in his body every week. You must be wondering what does this plastic do in our body? Plastic contains many toxic chemicals like Bisphenol-A, BPA, Phthalates which might cause serious diseases like cancer. Our body has an endocrine system which is a complex network of organs and glands that use hormones to control many biological functions of the body such as metabolism, reproduction, growths, and even when we fall ill or go through a mental illness, then this is the endocrine system that heals us. Plastic chemicals disrupt the endocrine system, which leads our body towards serious diseases.

We are dissolving countless poisons in every life-giving thing of nature, in the water, in the air, in the soil.

Now is the time to be ashamed and stop.