Microplastics are plastic particles that are five millimetres and smaller. The particles are often so tiny that they are hardly visible to the human eye. This is why the description “invisible microplastic” is often used in the media.
Many people initially think of microbeads and microplastics in cosmetics, for example:
- Shower gel
The biggest polluters are not known to many at all: The abrasion of billions of tires in road traffic and above all the countless sports fields made of artificial turf are one of the largest sources of microplastic pollution in our oceans.
Risks: Microplastic pollution harms the environment and our health
Nowadays the impact of plastic pollution on environment is detectable in all areas:
- In the oceans
- In soils
- In rivers
- In the groundwater
- Also in drinking and mineral water
Microplastics are difficult to decompose. In the environment, the tiny plastic particles are subject to further fragmentation allowing them to even pass through modern drinking water systems. These particles often act as carriers of pollutants such as pathogens or heavy metals. Microplastic enters the environment via wastewater – through rivers into the oceans and then enter our food cycle via microorganisms and thus into our bodies as deposits. The health consequences and effects of plastic pollution for the human organism cannot yet be assessed. The avoidance or retention of microplastics from all sources is therefore absolutely essential as the most efficient measure.