Microplastics – Everything You Need to Know About It!

Toxic plastic waste is a worldwide issue. It’s used for everything and will last forever since it’s everywhere.

The biodegradation time for a plastic bottle is around 450 years. This is because the environment reacts differently to various polymers. As a result, garbage is piling up, and it’s not just plastic. After leaving human hands, plastics degrade into tiny particles called microplastics. With a thickness of fewer than 5 millimeters, this plastic is quickly buried by sand and other debris.

Microplastics are more minor than just a sesame seed and are typically disregarded. Yet, they are present in almost every facet of our society. The effects on the natural world are unknown. We want to share a few surprising facts with our readers.

1. Bigger Ocean plastics convert into microplastics

Humans dump eight thousand metric tons of plastic waste into the ocean annually. Unfortunately, recycling resources and education are lacking in many nations. As a result, there is a growing problem with plastic pollution in the world’s waters. There are five large garbage patches in the ocean, and only a fraction of the plastic that washes on our beaches is ever collected and processed. Other elements will combine to make microplastic.

Oceanic conditions and ultraviolet light break down plastic into microscopic pieces called microplastics. Their small size allows them to blend in with marine life. Unfortunately, fish and plankton ingested it by mistake. Considering its lower position in the food web, plastic is a staple in fish diets. If plastic isn’t broken down by plankton, it will sink to the ocean floor.

2. Microplastics are used in manufacturing

Microplastics are found in a wide variety of everyday items. Face scrubs and toothpaste with plastic microbeads have been around since the 1950s. The cost of plastic is lower than the cost of natural exfoliants. When we use plastic items, tiny plastic particles are washed into our water supply.

You can find microplastics in fleece and other synthetic fabrics. The resilient fibers in these materials ensure that the garments will last for a more extended period. Unfortunately, several plastic pollutants are produced throughout the process. The average load of laundry can discharge 1,900 synthetic fibers. The use of synthetic fibers in clothing production allows for lower prices, but at what expense? Researchers estimate that these fibers account for around 85% of all microplastics found in the water.

3. Microplastics are everywhere in the oceans

To date, microplastics have been found in every ocean on the planet. Plastic has been found in the Mariana Trench, the deepest natural trench in the world. Some plastic items are relatively large, such as plastic bags, but most of the plastic is relatively little and difficult to spot. Recent research has uncovered “lost” garbage in the sea. Although some plastic waste was visible, it was just a fraction of the total. Researchers noted the presence of more microplastics on the ocean floor.

Scientists have discovered plastic pollution in the Arctic Sea ice. Research shows that there are more and more microplastics in the polar ice caps as plastic production rises. More than 12,000 microplastic particles per milliliter of sea ice were found. As the sea ice melts, it will once again become a viable part of ecosystems.

4. Microplastics contaminate drinking water

Even the water we drink from the tap contains microplastics. Research shows that 83 percent of city tap water includes plastic pollutants. Some of these particles are not filtered out by most water treatment facilities. Instead, they are used in anything from toothpaste to vegetable wash.

Likewise, bottled water can be contaminated by plastics. Microplastics were detected in 11 different brands of bottled water. Therefore, microplastics may be found in 93% of bottled water. Since the amount of microplastic in bottled water is not regulated, companies are not responsible for the problem.

5. Microplastics are found in humans

Microplastics were discovered in the human digestive system in preliminary research conducted in 2018. We didn’t know if these particles had any effect on us before this study. The dangers of plastics on human health remain primarily unknown.

When surrounded by these particles, how we manage to ingest them is a mystery. Airborne microplastics can contaminate our food supply. Or they might come from the stuff we drink, eat, or bottle, especially the water we drink from plastic bottles. More study is required before making any conclusion.

It’s difficult to appreciate how much plastic there is all around us if we don’t have a way to identify microplastics. Take a closer look, and you’ll notice how much we’ve accumulated. It all adds up when you include packaging, shopping bags, and apparel. There’s an excess of plastic that has to be disposed of.

We have the power to curb plastic waste. This change is necessary for the future survival of all species on Earth. We can lessen the amount of plastic in the ocean by becoming more ecologically conscious and adopting additional actions.

  • The water bottle, coffee cup, and shopping bags should all be brought from home.
  • Keep away from fleece and synthetics. Search for eco-friendly garments.
  • Glass (especially water bottles) and plastic should be used for as long as feasible.
  • Single-use plastics should be disposed of properly.

Likewise important is access to quality educational opportunities. Without education, individuals will continue to be powerless against the problem of microplastic pollution in our seas.

Start making changes to the future right now!