Micro plastics: an invisible army waging a war on humanity

Published by Ocean Generation \ November 27, 2018 12:46 pm

Part of the Saving The Grace X Ocean Generation series

If we think the world’s population is out of control, then it’s nothing compared to an issue that permeates our water systems. Plastic in our oceans has recently received large amounts of press, and rightly so, yet there is a larger problem that is hard to sensationalize in the press as they can’t be seen: micro-plastics. It is estimated there is a total of 15 – 51 trillion micro-plastic particles have accumulated in our ocean. Much plastic pollution is in the form of micro-plastics, tiny fragments less than five micrometers in six size and invisible to the naked eye– they are hard to see and even harder to collect.

Micro-plastics can come from larger plastic items as they break down. The Artic has the highest density of micro-plastics of anywhere in the world because of the cold temperatures causing the plastic to become more brittle. But much of the micro-plastics goes directly into waste water in the forms of billions of tiny beads found in cosmetic products including face wash and toothpaste (thankfully now banned in the UK). They can make their way into the food chain and recently have been found in our poop!

Plastic in our oceans has recently received large amounts of press, and rightly so, yet there is a larger problem that is hard to sensationalize in the press as they can’t be seen: micro-plastics. It is estimated there is a total of 15 – 51 trillion micro-plastic particles have accumulated in our ocean. Much plastic pollution is in the form of micro-plastics, tiny fragments less than five micrometers in six size and invisible to the naked eye– they are hard to see and even harder to collect.

But we have to look beyond our oceans to our everyday lives to come in to contact with micro-plastics. Even when you think you’re escaping micro-plastics with bottled water you may be doing yourself more harm. The World Health Organisation (WHO) have launched a review after micro-plastics have been found in over 90% of the world’s most popular bottled water brands – twice as high as those found in tap water.

The extent of the dangers is yet to be seen, yet scientists suggest a more toxic food chain, suppressed human immune systems, harmful for marine wildlife among a whole array of other problems

Can we ever escape this plastic problem? The only solution to protect our water ecosystems and our water bodies would be to say goodbye to plastic for good. It’s time for science and technology to step up, take us back to basics, and rethink our addiction to plastic.

It’s time to end our love affair with plastic as micro-plastics are an invisible army waging a war on humanity and the Earth.

The extent of the dangers is yet to be seen, yet scientists suggest a more toxic food chain, suppressed human immune systems, harmful for marine wildlife among a whole array of other problems.

Can we ever escape this plastic problem? The only solution to protect our water ecosystems and our water bodies would be to say goodbye to plastic for good. It’s time for science and technology to step up, take us back to basics, and rethink our addiction to plastic.

 

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