• Mervyn

Fight the use of Microplastics

Updated: Apr 24, 2020

Microplastics - very small pieces, some unseen by the human Eye.

Fight the use of Microplastics.

Fleece and synthetic clothing shed microplastics into the water with each washing. In fact, a fleece jacket sheds about 2,000 pieces of plastic per washing. Wastewater treatment plants do not have the ability to screen these tiny pieces, meaning they end up in both the discharged water and the sludge that is composted.

Micro plastics and micro fibres pose a real threat to marine ecosystems; they accumulate organic pollutants in far greater rates than other inorganic particles and they also pose a risk to humans and animals by being mistaken for food.

Being the same size as prey for marine organisms, micro plastics can “travel” up the food chain with increasing bio-accumulation, eventually, possibly, reaching your own dinner plates, in your fish meal, equally it is feasible that you could also consume microplastics from your own 'fleece' that you previously washed.

Micro fibres and micro plastics are now considered one of the greatest threats to the marine environment. The problem is so acute that even the United Nations has set its sight on microplastics in the marine environment, calling for urgent action.

Microplastics, which can range in size from being invisible to the naked eye, to just a few millimetres in diameter, are now turning up in all the world's major oceans including the Arctic and Antarctic and it is no longer feasible to think it may be possible to

simply "clear up the mess".

Thankfully, the use of microbeads has been banned in many countries Worldwide, but there is currently no way of knowing whether the Fish that is lying on your plate has any microplastics in it, but equally it could also mean that there is the possibility that there is!!!

Shopping is becoming a nightmare for most shoppers these days. There are many inappropriate packaging problems (plastic in particular), inconsistent and confusing labelling descriptions and now the chance of polluted fish.

This is probably the most difficult ‘Fight’ for consumers, a fight that Retailers are not necessarily aware of, or whether they can put your mind at rest, before purchase.

(Microbeads are not a recent problem, according to the UN Environment [United Nations Environment Programme]; plastic microbeads first appeared in personal care products about fifty years ago, with plastics increasingly replacing natural ingredients. As recently as 2012, this issue was still relatively unknown, with an abundance of products containing plastic microbeads on the market and not a lot of awareness on the part of consumers.)

Please consider your day to day actions when discarding waste material and how it could pollute and contaminate our Rivers, Lakes and Seas.

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