The Growing Concern Around Microplastics

Did you know? Low-cost, lightweight and resistant, plastic has benefits we can not deny. But, unfortunately, we now see the consequences of our intense use, little recycling and leak into nature, where it negatively impacts rivers, oceans, wildlife and humans. The key issue is that synthetic materials such as plastics contain chemical combinations which means they don’t undergo decay. A plastic fork used for 15 minutes can take 450 years or more to decompose. What makes it even more challenging is the combination of plastic with other materials and the various types.

There is no data yet on plastic impact on human health, but there is a growing concern around microplastics as they contaminate air, tap and bottled water, food and drinks, including salt, fish, honey and beer. All types of sea creatures are ingesting microplastics, and as they move up the food chain, these plastics will inevitably end up in the human gut. By itself, plastic is not dangerous but microplastic acts like a magnet for a range of other poisons and pollutants we have spilled into the natural world. So organic materials, pesticides and pharmaceuticals that end up in our marine systems will tend to get concentrated in these tiny particles and potentially disturb our hormone system.

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