Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing problems of our time.
Plastic is used everywhere.
Think about it: you also come in contact with plastic every day, right?
If nothing else, when you put on a polyester summer shirt.
It is also found in the most remote corners of the world – in Antarctica, in caves and even on the ocean floor.
Synthetic clothing is one of the biggest sources of microplastics.
They wear out during washing, and small plastic particles then enter the sewer.
When microplastics enter the environment, they mostly quickly enter marine organisms. They are then transmitted through the food chain.
The highest concentrations are found in fish that are at the end of the food chain.
We do not yet know much about the health effects of microplastics. However, much research suggests that these may be long term. The study of long-term effects is much more demanding, as they appear only after several years of exposure.
Plastic sooner or later also enters our bodies.
Most microplastics are inhaled with air.
Wearing various synthetic clothing and other materials releases microplastic particles into the air, which can accumulate in our lungs.
We do not yet know any effective ways to remove or decompose plastic.
Therefore, we need to figure out how to prevent microplastics from entering the environment and our bodies.
A variety of companies are already developing special filters for washing machines and air purifiers to filter microplastics.
Microplastics include plastic particles smaller than five millimeters.
Points To Consider
- Where do you use plastic most often?
- What does it mean to recycle something?
- Do you remember any other source of microplastics?
The original version of this article was published on June 8th.