So what are microplastics?
In 2004, scholars like Thompson at the University of Plymouth, UK, first proposed the concept of microplastics in a paper on plastic debris in ocean waters and sediments. This paper was published in the journal Science. As suggested by its name, Microplastics refe to tiny plastics which includes small particle sized plastic particles, films, debris, pellets and textile fibers. It is the major carrier of environmental pollution.
Due to its very small particle size range, it is a heterogeneous plastic mixture of various shapes, and it cannot be distinguished by our naked eyes. Therefore, it may enter your body unknowingly in your daily life.
Globally, the average person ingests about 2,000 microplastics a week. This amount of microplastics weigh about five grams that is the equivalent weight of a credit card. Eighty-three percent of tap water contains Micro-plastics, so we can’t avoid ingesting them even if we’re just drinking water.
The sources of microplastics are so broad that every object around you my produce them, which gradually affect our life.
How do microplastics get into human body?
From tiny organisms to plankton and other human activities, we may eat microplastics into our bodies without noticing it.
As microplastics are small enough, they can freely enter into the various organs of human body. Along with the biological circulation system, they may cause damage to the blood, lymphatic system, liver, intestinal tract, and even reproductive system.
Although the human body may excrete some microplastics through feces, both the components of the plastic itself and the components adsorbed by the plastic can still have negative impacts on people and ecology with side effects.
Though some microplastics are excreted in human feces, it doesn’t mean the ones that enter the body through food and water are eliminated. They will definitely remain in the human body more or less.
What are the dangers of microplastics?
Whether humans or marine organisms, large intake of plasticizers will form pseudo hormones and transmit simulated or false chemical signals to interfere the endocrine function. This will affect reproduction and development with a result of teratogenesis and even cancer.
In addition, plastics, especially microplastics have very strong adsorption which can absorb a lot of harmful substances. Researchers in several countries have analyzed organic contaminants on the microplastic surfaces of local marine mobile phones. They found the levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) is as high as 24,000 nanograms per gram in some areas.
It may take time and accumulated quantities to show the harm of microplastics to humans. This process may take a long time that let us lose our vigilance. But we still need to keep an eye on its harm to us.
Let’s start with eco-friendly cutlery and reduce microplastics
To date, humans have produced about 8.3 billion tons of plastic. Plastic that is difficult to break down is has long been part of the food chain in the form of microplastics. These microplastics eventually make their way into our bodies through drinking water and food, so they become the main source of microplastics in our bodies. In 2019 report, WHO found that humans have been unknowingly ingesting microplastics for decades. The establishment of environmental awareness has been the current consensus internationally.
At the same time, starting from the environmental friendly tableware, adjusting people’s daily eating habits and let people gradually merge into the daily life of environmental protection is one the means to reduce microplastics. Taking environmental protection as the core value, PaperstrawTech provides environmentally friendly catering solutions with diversified and high quality for the enterprises in the degradable field. Meanwhile, we are not only constantly exploring more advanced technologies, but also looking for cooperation with more enterprises and brands that really value consumer experience in the world. In hopes that this cooperation can help us to produce a better chapter in human life together and more people will have a quality life with environmental protection and health.