The new enemy when it comes to climate change isn’t the humongous garbage island…It’s microplastics. Here’s everything you need to know about them.
Basically, microplastics are as simple as they sound. The plastic pieces are smaller than five millimeters long and are often found in every day, disposable objects.
Because of their size, they are especially harmful to the environment; it’s pretty much impossible to separate them from water. We can’t see them but they are everywhere!
Even though they have long been a by-product of other pollution sources, microplastics are a relatively new field of study.
In 2015, President Obama signed the Microbead-free Waters Act of 2015, banning the use of microbeads in cosmetics. These microbeads were used to exfoliate skin and whiten teeth, but once used, they landed in the oceans. These small plastic pieces were then swallowed by marine life who mistook them for easy food. More than 100,000 creatures die every year from microplastic pollution.
Although some efforts are being made, dealing with microplastics already released to the environment is a costly endeavor. Most governments aren’t willing to spend millions on such an overlooked threat!
For now, it’s best to keep up with our other recycling efforts and avoid using cosmetics that contain microbeads. If you want a scrub, try sugar or salt! They are equally effective and will do no harm to the environment.
If you want to know more, check out today’s infographic with all the information you need to know about this growing problem.