In addition to climate change, a major challenge for our generation is the increasing pollution of our environment by plastic. We have already reported to you on the subject a few times at this point, including the dramatic effects on marine life and that babies swallow up to 1 million microplastic particles per day we made you aware. A new study looked at the problem on a global scale.
The results are not really encouraging. According to this, billions of tons of plastic are circulating that end up in the oceans or in nature, where they break down into tiny pieces and then end up in the air or are transported away again by road traffic and winds. As a result, the plastic also ends up in our body. Eating, drinking or simply breathing.
The long-term consequences will still be seen, but today it is already known that the plastic particles attack our lung tissue and can lead to diseases. But Professor Natalie Mahowald from the research team gives some hope. So it is far from too late, we could avert dire consequences through better waste management. Examples are the collection of plastic from the ocean or the wider use of biodegradable materials.
The main cause of the pollution is not necessarily the garbage that accumulates in cities and villages, but road traffic and the prevailing winds that carry new and existing particles through the environment. For example, in the western United States 85 Percentage of microplastic particles from road traffic, 10 percent come from the seas, only 5 percent from the land.
Smaller microplastic particles can easily remain in the atmosphere for 1 week and be transported hundreds of kilometers. That is one of the reasons why such particles are found even in remote Antarctica. So it is up to us to fight the plastic flood long-term and sustainably.
In some moments it just feels like it’s burning all over the world. On the one hand, there is climate change, pandemics, political tension and more are added every week. Nevertheless, it is important that we do not bury our heads in the sand, but rather actively tackle these problems. Because we decide what the future will look like.
Via The Guardian