What are micro-plastics?
As we know, plastic takes hundreds of years to break down. It is rather crazy to think that every plastic toothbrush that we have had since we were children, still exists somewhere in the world.
How to spot micro-plastics?
Well, officially they are defined as plastics less than five millimetres (0.2 inches) in diameter. They are tiny pieces of plastic that cause havoc in on our planet – effecting our oceans, waterways and wildlife.
On beaches, micro-plastics are visible as tiny multi-coloured plastic bits in sand. In the oceans, microplastic pollutions often consumed by marine animals.
Microplastics have been found in plankton and whales, in seafood we find in the supermarket, and even in drinking water. (National Geographic)
There are primary and secondary micro-plastic:
- “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.”
- “Secondary microplastics 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.”
How can we reduce our consumption of them to help the planet?
- Reducing the amount of plastic we use
- Using a laundry ball to catch microplastics from the washing machine
- Air dry clothes
- Buy organic clothes (not made from plastic)
- Avoid beauty products with microbeads
I am going to invest in a guppy friend bag so try and make my clothes cleaning slightly more sustainable! Let me know what you’re going to try if you want to reduce your microplastic consumption. Let’s chat in the comments