FunNature & AnimalAre we eating plastic?

Are we eating plastic?

Ricardo Mutuberria has a degree in Biology (University of the Basque Country & University of Cincinnati), with a Master in Biotechnology and Applied Microbiology (University of Wolverhampton) and a Master in Scientific, Medical and Environmental Communication (Pompeu Fabra University).

After years working as a professional scientist, Ricardo began to disseminate and promote scientific culture, mainly in museums. He has worked, among others, in the “Granada Science Park” and in the “American Museum of Natural History”. Ricardo learned about the international Do It Yourself Biology movement (DIYbio) as a volunteer at “Genspace”, a biotechnology laboratory open to the community in New York.

Currently Ricardo is dedicated to making it easier for citizens to do science, to have fun or to do great things. He is the founder and director of the Biook Association and of the annual program and festival of open and participatory science “BBK Open Science”.

We were speaking with him on the occasion of his lecture on Homo curiosus. You can watch the full interview in the video above.

What are the health hazards of eating plastic?

Studies indicate that we could be eating the equivalent of a credit card, that is, about five grams of plastic per week. We know very little about the effects of eating plastic on human health but, at least currently, they do not represent a health problem. I would be cautious anyway, more studies have to be done, and doing them with humans is not so easy. The problem of toxins and pollution in general is so extensive that it is very difficult to know which effects are due to plastics and which to other products. In any case, things are being seen in animals that already indicate that there are probably negative effects.

Can the ordinary citizen avoid eating plastic?

It’s complicated. There are microplastics in the water, in the air, in the food… You would have to isolate yourself in a bubble: have your own production, filter the water… it is practically impossible. But what can be done is to stop the dumping of plastics.

Are we in time to reverse the plasticization of the oceans?

Technologies are being developed to remove plastic from the oceans. They are necessary, but what is truly urgent is to immediately stop the dumping of plastic into the oceans and make responsible use of this material.

Drowned in plastic

Along with the presentation by Ricardo Mutuberria, those attending Homo curiosus have enjoyed the screening of the documentary ‘Drowned in plastic’.

Our planet faces one of the greatest threats in human history. Millions of tons of plastic are polluting seas and oceans and every marine animal, from the smallest plankton to the largest mammals, is being affected by one of the greatest environmental disasters of our time. But can we reverse this ever-growing plastic tide before it’s too late? Biologist Liz Bonnin meets with the world’s leading scientists, biologists and activists to expose the scale of the problem and try to find solutions to a crisis bigger than we imagine.

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