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Microplastics, why are they a big problem?

fish on a plate with microplastics

 

Microplastics pose a huge threat, both to our planet and to our health. But where are they and how can we eliminate them as much as possible from everyday life? Let's find it out together!

WHAT ARE MICROPLASTICS

Microplastics are small plastic particles that pollute our seas and oceans (but not only, because they are also present in the soil).

They are called so because they have extremely small sizes: in fact, their dimensions vary from a hundredth of a millimeter to 5 millimeter. They are indeed practically invisible!

They can become a grave danger, since they take hundreds of thousands of years to dissolve. It is safe to say that we will practically never get rid of them.
Furthermore, they can be ingested both by numerous organisms, and by fish and other marine animals which not only die for this, but moreover often end up, with their plastic filling, on our dining tables.

WHY ARE MICROPLASTICS PRESENT IN THE SEA

Microplastics are present in the seas and oceans due to the industrial production of non-recyclable plastic, which is then dispersed into the environment. Almost everything that we throw away and don't regularly recycle ends up in the waters.

In addition to microplastics there are also nanoplastics. These are even smaller particles, which however cannot be currently sampled using available technologies. The fact that they cannot be quantified and measured does not, unfortunately, mean that they are not around and that they will not end up in our stomachs.

microplastics found on a beach

HOW TO LIMIT DE DISPERSION OF MICROPLASTICS

Limiting the amount of microplastics that ends up in the seas is not easy but there are some habits that we can change and products that we can avoid to reduce their dispersion in the environment.

Avoiding plastic in all its forms as much as possible but especially when it is disposable, is the first big step that we can take as consumers.

Another important precaution, even if it may seem trivial, is following recycling schemes, thanks to which you will have the opportunity to facilitate the disposal of waste and even before, the care to never disperse waste in the environment. Just a little bit of thought will help, you don't need super powers.

Another important chapter in the unrelenting fight against microplastics is changing our laundry habits. Many of the plastic particles that end up in the sea start right from our washing machines and our clothes. Limit the number of washes, always set low temperatures that don’t damage the fabrics and prefer natural clothes to synthetic ones as the latter release, guess what: microplastics.

We also advise you to opt for liquid laundry products compared to powder ones, as the granularity of the latter exerts a micro abrasive action on the fabrics.

So, in addition to making clothes last for less time, it facilitates the detachment of a greater quantity of microfibers, which in turn disperse into the environment.

Finally, to save even more on all fronts, it is good to start the washing machine only with a full load.


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