The news that a team of researchers from South Korea’s Incheon National University and Greenpeace East Asia found microplastics in a whopping 90% of table salt they sampled shouldn’t really come as a surprise considering how ruthlessly we are dumping millions of tons of plastic trash into our water bodies every year.
Microplastics are virtually everywhere. Sea salt and lake salt are made by evaporating water and harvesting the salt that remains. Plastic waste flows from rivers into those bodies of water, so it’s no surprise that the salt contains traces of it too.
The researchers took 39 table salt samples from Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK, the US, and Vietnam.
Of these, 28 were sea salts, nine were rock salts, and two were lake salts. Only three of the samples were microplastics-free: a refined sea salt from Taiwan, a refined rock salt from China, and an unrefined sea salt in France.