Disposable cups emit huge amounts of microplastic particles, research



A new study suggests that drinking coffee once a week in a disposable cup can inject 90,000 potentially harmful plastic particles into our body annually.

 Researchers from Sichuan University in China studied three common types of disposable cups used in takeaways, in which they found the presence of thousands of plastic fine particles in the drinks served in these cups.

 One cup emits about 1500 particles in five minutes after being filled with the drink. These microplastic particles break down from the walls of the cup and join the drinks, while due to hot drinks and the shaking of the cup, microplastics break down in large quantities and join the drink.

 Every particle of plastic that is smaller than 5 mm is called microplastic, but many particles are much smaller than it and are visible only under the microscope.

 The majority of the microplastic particles studied in the study were smaller than 50 micrometers (roughly equal to the diameter of human hair).

 Scientists studied three different types of plastic cups in the research. These types included polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyethylene (PE).

 The scientists filled 400 ml of water in all three types of plastic cups and closed them with a foil to protect them from microplastic particles in the air and then stirred these cups for a minute.

 The result showed that after five minutes in each cup, the number of microplastic particles had increased from 723 to 1489. Polypropylene cups emitted the highest number of particles.

 

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