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Časoris
Mikroplastika so plastični delci, manjši od pet milimetrov. Vir: Wikimedia Commons
Mikroplastika so plastični delci, manjši od pet milimetrov. Vir: Wikimedia Commons

Microplastics are everywhere

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.

Plastic cannot decompose, it can only break down into smaller particles called microplastics.

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.

Plastiko uporabljamo vsak dan. Vir: Pixabay
We use plastic every day. Source: Pixabay

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.

The average person consumes five grams of plastic particles a week with food and water. This is about the size of a bank card.

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.

Med mikroplastiko sodijo tudi bleščice. Vir: PxHere
Microplastics also include glitter. Source: PxHere

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.

Dva logotipa in disclaimer Erasmus+

A variety of companies are already developing special filters for washing machines and air purifiers to filter microplastics.

Glossary

Microplastics include plastic particles smaller than five millimeters.

Points To Consider

  1. Where do you use plastic most often?
  2. What does it mean to recycle something?
  3. Do you remember any other source of microplastics?

***

The original version of this article was published on June 8th.

English translation courtesy of JL FlannerTotal Slovenia News, an English language website with news from and about Slovenia.

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