Bottle-Fed Babies are Eating Much More Plastic Than We Ever Thought

Plastic pollution does not discriminate. Across the country and around the world, we’re seeing the impacts of plastic pollution on what would be considered our most remote locations. High in the mountains and miles deep in the ocean, plastic is showing itself to be present. It makes its way from our home, through our laundry’s wastewater, and into our environment. From there it goes into our wildlife, our food, and our drinking water. 

Recent studies are showing that this permeating problem of plastic is disproportionately impacting the youngest of consumers, as baby bottles are actually shedding millions of particles of plastic with each use. 

The problem isn’t necessarily the bottle itself (even though the bottle is made of a propylene that is a synthetic material known for not breaking down). The problem is the process by which a bottle is prepared for a baby. Because babies’ food must be warmed before it is consumed, these plastic bottles are being put through a process of warming with each feeding. Whether using a bottle warmer, on a stove top, or in a microwave, the warming process is instigating the shedding of millions and millions of microscopic pollutants – directly into the baby’s digestive system. 

Many of these microplastics are processed by the body and make their way into diapers. But like all areas of microfiber pollution research, this is still a relatively young study. The synthetic materials of plastic are relatively young in our world. We still don’t know the long-term implications and negative side effects of consuming the amounts of plastic our world is consuming with each meal and drink. 

According to the Guardian, the group that compiled this research and tracks much of the narrative around pollutants like these in our world, babies in the United States alone are consuming as many as 2.5 million particles of plastic every day! 

As we continue to see new research tell us how much plastic is impacting in our ecosystem, we continue to be amazed at its far-reaching potential. We already knew it was in our streams, rivers, and oceans. It’s in the food chain and subsequently in our bodies. And now seeing how it’s impacting our tiniest members of society at an even higher rate, it’s essential that we do something to stop it.