Microplastics and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Microplastics and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

In a previous post, we briefly touched on the term microplastic, what they are and how they affect the world we live in. Today, we will dive further into why microplastics are a problem. 

 

Microplastics aren’t small pieces of plastic you can see with your own eyes. They are minuscule plastic debris that exists anywhere from 5 millimeters or less. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this is often smaller than a grain of rice. Despite their size, microplastics have run amuck in our natural environment. 

 

Polluting soil and water sources are a serious issue. Microplastics are a problem due to their difficulty to remove once they enter the environment. Take the Great Pacific Garbage Patch for example. The GPGP is created from debris floating along ocean currents and collecting in large areas. Microplastics cannot just be scooped out of this patch with nets. Often the microplastics continue to travel along the ocean currents and enter our waterways. 

Inhalation and digestion of microplastics are becoming more prevalent than ever! 

 

Microplastics can not only carry toxic chemicals that harm the body over time but also can cause gastrointestinal issues and blockages. Due to the rising rates of microplastics found inside humans, many scientists have begun to theorize we have entered a new plastic-dominant era known as the Plasticene. 

 

Combating plastic use and microplastics is more important than ever. To decrease microplastic effects on our bodies and the environment, it is crucial to reduce plastic consumption.