Microplastics are now recognised as one of the greatest manmade disasters when it comes to polluting the world we live in. These plastic fragments are less than 5mm in length, however they can have a devastating impact on a vast range of environments, including the ocean where plastic pollution critically endangers sea turtles, sharks, whales and other sea life.
So, what are microplastics?
Microplastics are plastic pieces that measure less than five millimetres. They are present in a wide range of everyday items including carpets, chairs, plastic bags and clothes. As we move around, we naturally shed fibres which float in the air, break way from objects, and spread.
But what causes microplastics to break away? There are a whole host of natural processes, including sunlight, which cause fragmentation and causes materials to break apart.
The main problem with microplastic pollution is that microplastics can keep breaking up until they are like dust particles, making it difficult to assess the true impact they are having on our environment.
How dangerous are microplastics?
There is a significant amount of evidence that suggests microplastics are having a devastating impact on pollution levels in our oceans and on land, with research indicating that both humans and animals are ingesting microplastics. With this in mind, it’s vital that we all play our part in helping to reduce microplastics.
What can we do to help reduce them?
The good news is that there are lots of ways that we can all play a role in helping to reduce microplastics including the following:
Reduce Your Use of Single-Use Plastics
Whether you reduce your use of single use water bottles, plastic bags, dry cleaning bags or utensils through to take out containers, cups and other plastic items, you will be playing a role in helping to reduce this growing problem.
Installing a water filter will mean you’ll never need to buy a bottle of water again. Take a look at our best water filters.
It’s important that we all recycles, as small changes can make a big impact when it comes to saving our planet. With this in mind, you should make a conscious effort to recycle as much as possible, and make sure you recycle properly! If you’re unsure what item goes in what recycling bin, there’s lots of resources online that you can call upon!
Participate in a beach clean up
Beach clean ups have proven to be incredibly effective when it comes to keeping our oceans and beaches clean and free from dangerous pollution. So, if you’re going to make one new year’s resolution in 2021, make sure it is to participate in a beach clean-up.
Avoid Products Containing Microbeads
Finally, you should also avoid buying or using products that contain microbeads which are commonly found in facial scrubs, toothpastes, sunscreens and body washes. You will also find microbeads in lots of different cleaning products too!
If you are concerned that microbeads are present in the products you are purchasing, you should look out for the following ingredients.
- Polyethylene (PE)
- Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
- Nylon (PA)
- Polypropylene (PP)
- Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)
If you see any of these ingredients, you should avoid purchasing the product.
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