What is Microplastic?
The most common sort of marine debris in our ocean and Great Lakes is plastic. The term "microplastics" refers to plastic trash that is smaller than five millimetres (or around the size of a sesame seed). Plastic debris can be of any shape or size.
Microplastics can be found in a variety of places, including bigger plastic waste that breaks down into ever-tinier fragments. Additionally, microbeads, a subset of microplastic, are little bits of synthetic polyethylene plastic that are added as exfoliants to several toothpastes and cleansers in the health and beauty industry.
How Dangerous It is?
For the first time, microplastic pollution has been seen in the blood of humans; nearly 80% of those tested had the microscopic particles present. The discovery shows the particles can travel around the body and may lodge in organs. The effect on health is still undetermined. But researchers are concerned as microplastics cause damage to human cells in the laboratory and air pollution particles are already known to enter the body and cause millions of early deaths a year.
Micro-plastics have contaminated the entire planet, from the top of Mount Everest to the deepest oceans, as a result of the massive volumes of plastic garbage that are being dumped into the environment. The microscopic particles have been discovered in the faeces of both babies and adults, and people have long been known to breathe them in as well as absorb them through food and water.
India has become the first Asian country to develop a plastics pact in order to create a plastics circular system. The India Plastics Pact (IPP) was formed through a collaboration between WWF India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
Alternatives such as cotton, khadi bags, and biodegradable plastics must be promoted. More R&D (Research and Development) and funding are required to look for long-term viable options. To reduce plastic pollution, countries must embrace circular and sustainable economic practises throughout the plastics value chain.
A circular economy is based on resource reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing, and recycling to create a closed-loop system that reduces resource use, waste generation, pollution, and carbon emissions.
Citizens must bring about behavioural change and contribute by not littering. They must assist in waste segregation and waste management.