We just shared with you an article about how microplastics have been found to be falling with the rain in some areas. And it’s ok if it scares you, it scares us too–we’re all in this together.
So what can you do to help stop the influx of microplastics? The first and easiest step is to cut plastic bags out of your life. Just say goodbye; they were convenient and served their purpose but at some point, we all must move on to better things. Replace them with reusable bags, not just for their talent of self-expression but also with the hope of creating a more sustainable future, one where our children don’t have to worry about the amount of microplastic in their evening meal.
Unfortunately, plastic bags are not the only cause of microplastic, all plastic is the issue. Here are two more big contributors to microplastic and ideas about how to avoid them:
Vehicle tires are responsible for over 68,000 tons of microplastic pollution each year.
Used tires are tossed into our landfills or make their way into our streams and oceans. But old tires are not the only issue. As you drive down the road, your tires break down, releasing tiny bits of rubber into the air. So what are some things we can do to limit our contribution to this problem? You could rideshare or take public transportation. Doing so doesn’t take tires out of the equation but it cuts down on the amount on the road. Another thing to do is to consider buying used tires and driving your tires until it is really necessary to replace them, further cutting down on the demand for companies to manufacture new ones.
Clothes release tiny synthetic fibers into the waste drainage systems of washing machines, generating between 2,300 and 5,900 tons of microplastic contamination each year.
As much as 2,900 tons of that amount is capable of bypassing wastewater treatment filters and ending up in our waterways. So the best solution is to just stop washing your clothes. We are kidding, sort of. Most Americans actually do overwash their clothes, and not only does this release microplastics but it also causes the clothing to wear down faster and needs to be replaced sooner. And as we have talked about in previous articles, replacing clothes with new ones also contributes to the plastic dilemma. But if you do need to buy new clothing, look for all-natural fibers; avoid polyester, nylon, acrylic, and other synthetic fibers that are sourced from plastics.
More and more plastic is being found in places that it doesn’t belong. Overall, we need to start encouraging people to see that the main place plastic doesn’t belong is on our Earth! Cutting out the 3 items above won’t solve our world problems but they are a big step to reducing them. And speaking of reducing, make sure to take another look at the 6Rs. They include some of the tips above as well as others to help eliminate unwanted contaminants, like microplastics, that are endangering our Earth.
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