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Last updated: 27 February 2023

Microplastics Threaten Our Environment

A Threat That Demands Fundamental Rethinking

Microplastic pollution has been a debated topic among environmentalists for many years. In early January, a comprehensive study revealed that microplastics are present in every part of the environment, classifying them as a global environmental problem and thereby bringing mainstream attention to this topic.

They are not a new type of plastic, but small fragments of plastics of any type. As we all know, it takes an enormous amount of time for plastic to decompose, however, external factors break plastic into smaller pieces, creating more substantial pollution.

Microplastic Pollution Infographic

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The Ocean Cleanup is a great initiative on how to begin cleaning the Great Pacific Garbage Patch which has been formed over time, due to our plastic waste. Nevertheless, because of the size of microplastics, it’s nearly impossible to remove them from water.

Salt water and UV exposure makes plastics release toxins faster, and additionally poisons oceans. A recent UK study revealed that plastics absorb 100 million times more chemicals than water.

Microplastic Waste Elimination

The first step towards a sustainable environment is becoming ‘waste aware’. By setting a recycling habit, we can lower our plastic waste generation and help preserve planet Earth for future generations.

In the United Kingdom after a ban on plastic straws arose, a restriction law on intentionally added microplastics had been introduced thanks to the ‘Environmental Protection (Microbeads) (England) Regulations 2017’. This piece of legislation forbids cosmetic manufacturers to intentionally add any microbeads to their products.

In order to make a greater difference, large-scale cleanup projects and raising awareness about the importance of recycling and waste management, have to come to the forefront of social discourse.

Recovering plastics from oceans and recycling them to create sustainable materials such as uPVC windows, is a step in the right direction. However, without reducing single-use and common plastic production, microplastic pollution will keep on growing rapidly and continue to poison our environment.

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