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Microplastic, An Uninvited Guest?

Updated: Feb 26, 2020


In October, Greenpeace exposed: "From the examination of salt sold in 21 nations around the globe, we found out that microplastics were identified in 90% of the items."


What is Microplastic?

Microplastics are pieces of plastics of less than five millimeters (0.2 inches) in length that are barely visible to a naked eye. They exist extensively in the oceans (from the surface to the deep seafloor) as fine dust hovers in the atmosphere.


How Microplastics Came To Be

The formations of microplastics vary in two ways- either as a product of plastic trash broken down into flea-sized bits by UV rays and wave currents, or product from plastic microbead manufacturers. These microbeads do not degrade, and in all circumstances, will exist in the oceans for centuries.


Greenpeace has additionally revealed their discovery of microplastics in more than 170 types of fish that people enjoy eating, such as mussels and shellfish. Aforementioned all tracks down as follows: after humans pour plastic waste into the seas, marine animals eat microplastics, thinking they are algae. As an effect, the plastics slowly pile up in the animals' stomachs and cause them to die of starvation.

Through planktons and fish, plastics in our food chain reach their final destination, humans.

A Threat to Humans

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have repetitively cautioned the effects of microorganisms entering our bodies. These agencies have said that if microplastics from salt or ocean creatures enter our body systems, we might get malignant diseases like cancer and sterility.


A Bigger Menace

Widespread microplastic is a very pressing problem in Korean waters. There is an estimated number of ten thousand to ten million microplastics in the Korea South Coast. Compared to ten microplastics found in the California South Coast, ten thousand to ten million is a large number. Besides, the UN warns that nano plastics, plastics smaller than microplastics, can penetrate all organs, including the brain.


We have invited microplastics to our bodies already a century ago. Still, in order to make a difference, it is pivotal to have a lifestyle of not utilizing plastic items.

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