Day 33 – In general, plastic is not good for the environment. But even worse, is when plastic breaks down into very small pieces. Not only are marine animals ingesting these microplastics, but humans are consuming them as well.
National Geographic describes microplastics as the following:
There are two categories of microplastics: primary and secondary. Primary microplastics are tiny particles designed for commercial use, such as cosmetics, as well as microfibers shed from clothing and other textiles, such as fishing nets. Secondarymicroplastics are particles that result from the breakdown of larger plastic items, such as water bottles. This breakdown is caused by exposure to environmental factors, mainly the sun’s radiation and ocean waves.
Microplastics have been detected in marine organisms from plankton to whales, in commercial seafood, and even in drinking water. Alarmingly, standard water treatment facilities cannot remove all traces of microplastics. To further complicate matters, microplastics in the ocean can bind with other harmful chemicals before being ingested by marine organisms. – National Geographic
It’s still unclear if microplastics are harmful to humans, but if I had to guess they are not beneficial. I do not need a study to tell me that I should not be ingesting or breathing in microplastics.
What can we do to help?
- Try to avoid single use plastic.
- Avoid using products with microbeads. Microbeads are small pieces of plastic added to some health and beauty products, such as toothpastes and facial scrubs.
- Avoid synthetic fibers. If not, check out the following: Microfiber Laundry Ball, Mesh Bag, or lint filter system. The only thing I have are the mesh bags, so I can not give any reviews for the other options.
- Air dry your clothes when possible.
- Stay informed.
So, on this World Wetlands Day, let’s try to make a conscience effort to keep the microplastics out of the water we drink and the air we breathe.
Tomorrow, a new purchase that will prevent me from buying another Ziploc bag.