Tests disclose that bottled drinking water contains nearly twice as many microplastic particles per liter as tap water. The contamination is thought to originate from the manufacturing process of the bottles and caps.
Researchers tested 259 bottles of 11 popular bottled drinking water brands for the presence of microscopic plastic. On average, the bottled water tested contained 325 pieces of microplastic per liter.
Only 17 of 259 bottles were found to be free of microplastic particles, and none of the brands tested consistently free of plastic contaminants. The worst offender was Nestlé Pure Life, the most contaminated sample of which contained 10,390 particles per liter.
In response to these findings, the World Health Organization has vowed to launch a safety review to assess the potential short- and long-term health risks of consuming microplastic in water.
A report by the U.K. Government Office for Science warns plastic debris littering the world’s oceans — 70 percent of which does not biodegrade — is likely to triple by 2025 unless radical steps are taken to curb pollution.