5 things you need to know about microplastics:
1. Microplastics are barely visible or not visible at all. They are small plastic pieces >5mm in size.
2. Primary microplastics: tiny plastics particles directly released into the environment - ‘microbeads’ are often found in personal care products (eg. facial/ body scrubs, toothpaste and cosmetics).
3. Secondary microplastics: results of larger plastic debris breaking down to smaller fragments over time in land and marine environments.
4. Synthetic fabrics (eg. polyester, nylon and lycra) shed microplastics with each washing. Microplastics are generally too small to be caught by sewage treatment facilities so they eventually go into rivers, lakes and oceans.
5. Microplastics and the toxins they soaked up in water can be eaten by fish, birds, plankton or other aquatic wildlife, and end up in the food chain.
5 things you can do to reduce microplastics pollution:
1. Don’t use personal care products that contain microbeads (look out for ‘polythelene’ and ‘polypropylene’ on the ingredients label). Use natural ingredients instead. I personally use sugar + salt as scrub and it’s not bad!
2. Avoid single use plastics (stating the obvious here).
3. Wash your clothes that consist synthetic fibres less frequently, so less microplastics fibres get into the ocean.
4. Participate in clean ups / develop a habit of picking up rubbish and put them in appropriate bins along your way.
5. Spread the word. Help make others be aware too!