How Are Microplastics Ending Up In German Beer?

Hops. Barley. Malt. These are the astoundingly simple ingredients you hope to find in the beer you’ve been drinking. Modern Farmer reports, however, that plastic, and a slew of other microscopic contaminants, have been making their way into your favorite German lager.

According to a recent study that analyzed the contents of 24 brands of German beer, the aptly named “microplastics”—pieces of plastic less than 5mm in length—were present in 100% of samples tested. That’s not all; bits of glass, skin and even the complete body of a bug were also discovered. But though these unwanted ingredients might not be dangerous, the larger question remains: Where are they coming from? Scientists have a few theories.

There could be a flaw in the production method or equipment that allows these particles to enter the beer supply. Or, more likely, it’s the water supply itself that is contaminated. If that’s the case, it definitely spells trouble. [Modern Farmer] [Photo: Flickr/Don LaVange]