A 2018 study published in Environmental Science & Technology sampled 39 different salt brands sourced from 21 countries, and discovered microplastic (MP) contamination in all but three samples. According to the study, sea salt contained the highest levels of microplastic contamination, followed by lake salt and rock salt.
The average microplastic content for all samples was 506 MP/kg, which includes an outlier sample from Indonesia. The study estimates that the average adult could be consuming approximately 2,000 MPs every year… Just from salt!
The concentrations of microplastics varied dramatically among brands, and brands consumed in Asia showed especially high concentrations.
I think it should be the salt manufacturer’s responsibility to test the level of microplastics in their products and be legally required to display that concentration, just as they’re required to list the ingredients. I mean, it clearly is an ingredient now, so it should be displayed so the consumer is aware and make more informed decisions based on this information.
Awareness is the key to change.
Sources: Greenpeace, Environmental Science & Technology.
Study: Kim, Ji-Su et al. (2018) Global Pattern of Microplastics (MPs) in Commercial Food-Grade Salts: Sea Salt as an Indicator of Seawater MP Pollution