Understanding Microplastics

When plastic enters our world, it never really goes away. From the day it is manufactured, plastic crosses into a never-ending cycle, continuously re-entering our lives. Plastic slowly breaks down over time into increasingly tinier pieces called microplastics, no larger than a grain of rice (less than 5mm). They never truly go away. These plastic pieces can be found in many aspects of our lives, and are so prevalent that they are hard to avoid. 

Where are they coming from? All over the place! Microplastics are the breakdown of well-known plastics such as bags, bottles, and one-time-use containers, as well as face washes, children’s toys, household items, and nylon ropes. Even your regular load of laundry can release millions of tiny plastic microfibers into the water system. Clothes are manufactured with plastic too! The particles are too small to be filtered or diverted from our ecosystem. 

 

The more prolific plastic becomes and the longer it spends cycling around, the more toxic it becomes! Think of these microscopic plastic bits as tiny sponges on hoverboards. They absorb what they come into contact with, creating a cesspool of germs, chemicals, and other pollutants…a cesspool on a hoverboard! You’re probably asking, “Why a hoverboard?” That’s because these microplastics can circumnavigate the world with ease, maneuvering around obstacles and latching on to other vessels to propel them forward. They find their way into our oceans, streams, soil, air, marine and land animals, and even in the rain without ever breaking a sweat. Steps are being taken to combat these microplastics but we still have a long way to go. Do your part–avoid plastic, and REFUSE, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, REDEEM and REBUY.

 

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