For years we have known the hazardous conditions caused by plastic pollution in the oceans and on land. Time and again, our attention has been drawn towards the consequences of human action. There have been huge efforts to clean plastics from our oceans, but there is still a long way to go. Plastic pollution was like a ticking time bomb waiting to affect humans, and now it has reached us.
For the first time, microplastic contamination has been found in the blood of humans; nearly 80% of those examined had the microscopic particles. Microplastics have contaminated the entire planet, from the top of Mount Everest to the deepest oceans, as a result of the massive volumes of plastic garbage that are being dumped into the environment. The microscopic particles have been discovered in the feces of both babies and adults, and people have long been known to breathe them in as well as absorb them through food and water.
Despite the fact that the majority of studies have concentrated on the dangers to marine life, scientists have been concerned about the possible hazards of microplastics for almost 20 years. After his team discovered them on British beaches, Richard Thompson, a marine scientist at the University of Plymouth in the UK, developed, in 2002, the term “microplastics” to characterize plastic particles smaller than 5 millimeters in diameter. An abundance of research has been conducted regarding micro plastics and its adverse effect on the planet. Oceanographers estimated in 2015 that there were between 15 and 51 trillion microplastic particles floating in surface seas throughout the world. There is still concern that these microplastics will eventually disintegrate into invisible nanoplastics, which are impossible to detect. The fact that plastic garbage can be recycled or recovered must be kept in mind though.
In the latest report published in August 2022 by The World Health Organization, microplastics have been found in human breast milk. According to some studies, we could be ingesting up to 5 grams of plastic every week through our food, drink, and various consumer goods.
The consumption of plastic for human convenience is still enormous. Except for what has been burned, every single piece of plastic that has ever been produced is still here on Earth. According to previous estimates, just 9% of all plastic is recycled, leaving 9 billion tons in our landfills, oceans, and ecosystems.
The consequences of plastic pollution are a result of the huge amount of plastic material that we have used in the past years. What we use today will affect us years from now. We must make changes now in our consumption, otherwise this situation will not get any better for future generations.