Microplastics Facts: Learn All About These Harmful Pollutants! | Kidadl


Microplastics Facts: Learn All About These Harmful Pollutants!

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Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic that are found all over the world, filling up the oceans in even the most remote places such as the Arctic Sea.

The effect of microplastics on human beings and marine life is the subject of worldwide research by scientists. Humans unknowingly use this plastic every day as it is present in everyday items like coffee and drinking water.

Even before birth, plastic particles remain in the placenta of unborn babies. Imagine the amount of plastic that we have in our bodies at any time of the day. It is not possible to get rid of all the plastic at the moment, but some steps are being taken to minimize the amount.

Here are some facts about microplastics which will make you sit up and take notice of the plastic pollution all around you.

Impact On The Environment

The impact of microplastic on the environment is quite destructive, with plastic being found even underwater. Let's look into the effect of plastic pollution on the ecosystem.

The problem with microplastic is that it is present everywhere. Would you believe that even the Mariana Trench, the deepest place on the planet, contains plastic? The amount of microplastic located under the oceans is a much greater quantity than the heap we see on the surface.

Agricultural land is being contaminated by microplastic as well. Greenhouse soil has the highest amount of microplastic, which has a negative impact on soil organisms. Using organic fertilizers and bio waste is increasing the microplastic amount in cultivable land.

Even sea breeze has traces of plastic in it. The water systems have microplastic in them, which gets carried away by wind and blown onshore. The practice of not following proper waste management is creating microplastic.

Impact On Animals

The breaking down of larger plastics into tiny particles forms microplastics. These get deposited in the ocean and affect aquatic life.

The small size of plastic particles makes them easy to mix with the ocean. They are consumed by fish accidentally and are so small that even plankton eat them. The fish eats the plankton, which is eaten by humans, passing microplastics into our bodies.

Microplastic leads to damage of the digestive system in marine life and decreases the quality of nutrition. Instead of food, the fish becomes full of plastic. Often harmful chemicals are used in dyes that contain microplastic. These chemicals enter the bodies of the animals and into the environment.

Insecticides contain heavy metals which latch on to microplastic and are eaten by animals. These get accumulated through the food chain and reach the top predators, harming their bodies as well.

Microplastic is very harmful to all animal life

Impact On Humans & Their Lifestyle

Plastic debris is a common sight in every place today. The impact of dumping plastic waste has not changed the lifestyle of humans at all.

Tap water in major cities of the world is filled with plastic fibers. Water bottles from the largest brands also have plastic fibers in them. There is no requirement to check the amount of microplastic in bottled water.

The friction between road and wheels in car tires releases microplastic into the air. These get blown into water systems.

Synthetic fibers are used heavily today to make cheap clothing and fleece as they last longer and are more durable. The problem occurs when we wash these clothes and release fibers that form the basis of microplastics.

Plastic cups used to contain hot beverages like tea and coffee have a large quantity of microplastics within them. Human beings unconsciously use plastic bags which not only clogs drains but breaks down into smaller particles or microplastics.

Corrective Measures Taken By The Government

The increase in plastic pollution has prompted the government in many countries to take steps to begin controlling the level. Imposing a ban on any type of plastic is the first step to the reduction of microplastic.

Bangladesh was the first nation in 2002 to ban plastic bags for their environmental impact. In recent times, the High Court of Bangladesh has forbidden using single-use plastics in hotels in coastal areas.

Your facewash has tiny particles known as microbeads which add plastic to nature. The Netherlands was the first country in 2014 to ban microbeads. Countries like South Korea and Australia have followed suit with strict regulations.

Plastic waste is a large problem in India with about 57320188 lb (26000000 kg) being produced each day. The Indian Government has been experimenting with the creation of plastic roads since the early 2000s.

If we use less plastic then this can significantly decrease the microplastic production and stop the ocean from getting filled up with plastics. This can be achieved with simple actions, such as buying a water bottle to be reused, rather than buying lots of plastic water bottles. We can save a lot of aquatic life with a simple deed such as this one.


How are microplastics harmful to the environment?

Microplastics are not biodegradable and hence they take a very long time to break down, causing long-lasting harm to the environment.

Where do microplastics come from?

The problem of microplastics is that there is not just one source but various ones, such as our waste from our homes and industrial wastewaters.

How are microplastics formed?

Most microplastics come from the breaking down of larger plastic such as clothes and bottles.

How do microplastics affect the environment?

Microplastics enter the food chain and lead to the death of a large number of marine animals.

How do microplastics enter the ocean?

The washing of clothes is the primary source of microplastics that find their way to the oceans.

How can we get rid of microplastics?

Banning the use of plastics is the best way to get rid of microplastics.

How do you remove microplastics from the ocean?

Plastic eating bacteria and enzymes can be helpful to remove microplastics from the ocean.

Why are microplastics a problem?

Microplastics are a problem because they cause health problems in humans and animals.

How do you remove microplastics from drinking water?

Microplastics can be removed from drinking water by using special filters to separate them.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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