WWF shines spotlight on plastic ingestion using common household objects

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) aims to raise awareness about the amount of plastic individuals are consuming on a weekly basis with its "Your Plastic Diet" engagement campaign.

Created in collaboration with Grey Malaysia, the campaign uses commonly recognised household objects made of plastic to quantify the amounts of plastic consumers are ingesting to make the findings more relatable and shocking. "Your Plastic Diet" will launch worldwide in countries including Singapore, Australia, Japan, Columbia, Mexico, Germany and UK. It also includes TV, digital, online and outdoor activations.

The fully integrated campaign encourages consumers to find out the amount of plastic they are ingesting, based on their diet, via the campaign website www.yourplasticdiet.com. The website uses the study's findings to approximate consumers' likely personal weekly plastic consumption.

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The campaign was inspired by the analysis "No Plastic in Nature: Assessing Plastic Ingestion from Nature to People", which was based on a study commissioned by WWF and carried out by University of Newcastle, Australia. According to the study, individuals are consuming about 2,000 tiny pieces of plastic weekly, which equates to approximately five grams a week, 21 grams a month, just over 250 grams a year.

According to Marco Lambertini, WWF international director general, the findings must serve as a wake-up call to governments. Not only are plastics polluting oceans and waterways and killing marine life, Lambertini said that it is in all consumers and humans cannot escape consuming plastics.

“While research is investigating potential negative effects of plastic on human health, we are all clear that this is a worldwide problem that can only be solved by addressing the root cause of plastic pollution. If we don’t want plastic in our bodies, we need to stop the millions of tons of plastic that continue leaking into nature every year," he said.

As such, "urgent action" is required at government, business and consumer levels, and a global treaty with global targets to address plastic pollution, Lambertini added.

This comes as WWF is mobilising the public to support a global petition calling for a legally binding treaty on marine plastics pollution. The treaty would establish national targets and transparent reporting mechanisms that extend to companies.

"No Plastic in Nature: Assessing Plastic Ingestion from Nature to People" calls for governments to step up and play a key role in ensuring all stakeholders in the entire chain in the plastic system, from manufacturers to producers, are held accountable to the common goal of ending plastic pollution.