Microplastic. You’ve been curious for a while about it now.

You’re starting to hear the news talk about it, you’re starting to see stories and posts being shared by your friends online, you start wondering; each and every single time you see the word, just what exactly are they talking about?

You think to yourself, micro? That means small or smaller right?

Plastic, seriously now, everyone already knows about how plastic is bad for the environment. What else is new? I’m already doing my part, am I not? I stopped using that exfoliating face wash with the plastic beads in it. I started carrying my own bags to the grocery store. I even tried this thing called a capsule closet from that YouTuber I saw 3 weeks ago.  I try my best to be a part of the solution already, what else is missing? I give up at this point, I don’t know what I can do anymore!!!

Faced with bold statements like “By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea!” evokes a flurry of mixed emotions. Another level of hopelessness sets in, a deep anticipatory dread tinged with guilt and exasperation slowly creeps in.

I don’t get it, I’m doing everything in my power to not contribute to the problem.

Why is this still happening?

Please know that you are not alone when it comes to how you are feeling.

Those statements, although alarming, are unfortunately true.

We are currently up against one of, if not the biggest environmental crisis of our generation.

Disheartening footage of a mother albatross picking away at a shoreline littered with plastic, not knowing better, and feeding it to her chicks has been splashed across the internet  As of 2018, an average of 13.7 million birds die from plastic ingestion each year.

The dangers of microplastics in our lives have reached a devastating level. Everything we consume from the food we put on our tables, the clothes we wear every day, and the water we drink, ALL contain traces of 

What the future holds

More and more, reports of plastic showing up in the most remote places, on top of the highest mountains, and in the depth of the ocean floors. Some are presenting themselves in different ways, fusing with rocks to become something truly abhorrent to nature. These plastic stones that are emerging in sizable chunks are a product of plastic fragments, microplastics, and other debris molten together from the earth’s lava core.

Are these pieces of fossilized plastic conglomerates how we as humans will be remembered in the future? Will the new normal look like microplastics in everything we live and breathe?

Will the generations born into this world with tiny fragments of plastic in their bodies, even long before they take their first breath, blame the ones who preceded them for the plastic oceans for which they will be forced to live in? 

What’s the risk?

Plastic has become a raw material staple in our everyday lives.

Since it’s integration into our lives in the 1960s, plastic has rapidly replaced nearly everything we use. 7 billion tons of trash has been manufactured since the turn of the 20th century. To simply say that we are to completely eliminate plastic is impossible to do.

But for each piece of single-use plastic serving us for minutes of our day, comes a lifetime of this piece breaking down slowly into microplastics over time. If they do not end up in landfills that contaminate groundwater, they end up in the ocean, where millions of fish feed on them. Plastic waste becomes microflakes, beauty products become microbeads, and clothing become microfibers all washed into our oceans.

Estimated today that 99% of seabirds all have microplastics in their systems, and plastic debris lining their stomachs where food should have been. Everywhere, species are dying out by the 100’s, some even before we could fully understand them.

As of 2020, 67% of the seafood we consume today has a significant amount of microplastics in their bodies.

When tested, 100% of the group showed microplastics in all of their organs.

Allow me to say it again.

Every single organ of the human body had microplastic contamination present.

In early December of 2020, researchers published findings confirming what we have all been wondering for some time.

For the first time, we see proof of what we had feared the most.

In the study, six human placentas, collected from consenting women with physiological pregnancies, were analyzed by Raman Microspectroscopy to evaluate the presence of microplastics.

In total, 12 microplastic fragments (ranging from 5 to 10 μm in size), with spheric or irregular shape were found in 4 placentas (5 in the fetal side, 4 in the maternal side and 3 in the chorioamniotic membranes); all microplastics particles were characterized in terms of morphology and chemical composition.

All of them were pigmented; three were identified as stained polypropylene, a thermoplastic polymer, while for the other nine it was possible to identify only the pigments, which were all used for man-made coatings, paints, adhesives, plasters, finger paints, polymers and cosmetics and personal care products. 

In total, 12 microplastic fragments with spheric or irregular shape were found in 4 placentas.

So what can we REALLY do about it?

1. Avoid single-use plastics, which includes: straws, takeout containers, cutlery, cosmetic glitter, cling wrap

Something we use for a day, an hour, or even mere minutes before disposing of without a  second thought will easily outlive us, and generations after us. A single straw takes 200 years to fully decompose, spending the latter parts of its life fragmenting into microplastics. These tiny pieces are then eaten by marine wildlife, and eventually, end up back in our own bodies.

2. Build that capsule wardrobe, upcycle clothes, and reduce shopping fast fashion

Creating a capsule wardrobe not only saves the environment from plastic fibers that contribute to the problem every time you pop your clothes in for a wash, but it also saves you money by minimizing the spend per annum on clothing and allows you to avoid decision fatigue.  It is truly a win-win situation.

3. Replace plastic Tupperware with Glass or Stainless Steel 

Glass Tupperware and Stainless Steel containers are generally more durable. Unlike plastics, they do not release harmful chemicals when heated. Exposing ourselves to a low-dose chemical once may not seem harmful, but over time, when we are touching, drinking from, reheating multiple pieces of plastic simultaneously, the adverse effects on our health increases exponentially.

4. Opt for oxo-biodegradable plastics when plastic consumption can not be avoided

The economical benefits of plastic are still unrivaled to this day. There are not many raw materials that can be mass produced, and strong yet light enough to be manipulated into almost any shape or form. More and more companies are starting to convert to manufacturing their products with oxo-biodegradable plastics instead to fit the growing demand of more green options. Moor Spa is the first in its industry to fully convert our packaging to being fully oxo-biodegradable with the help of Symphony Environmentals d2w Biodegradable Technology.

5. Education is Key 

As a best practice, always research and educate yourself when possible. If something sounds too good to be true, most of the time, if not all the time it is. The world is changing, and there is much work to be done to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our successors. The more educated we are, the more informed choices we can make to influence large scale changes.

The change you want to see in the world starts with you.

Remember, we all have to start somewhere, so why not start today?

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