Each year around 8 million tons of plastics enter our oceans from land, once they entered the water bodies due to the influence of the UV rays from the sun the particles stars to breakdown, after a certain period of time they become so small, these are called as microplastics which are usually less then 5mm, it’s also true for plastic wastes on land. some of the facts about plastics is that as they are consumed by several bird species such as sea birds, dolphins, turtles and much more. Shockingly, an estimate 98% of albatross studied are found having ingested plastic debris. Once the plastic has been ingested, it causes an obstruction in the digestive tract and can puncture internal organs. Scientists have estimated that there are over five trillion pieces of plastic weighing more than a quarter of million tons floating at sea globally. Most of this plastic debris comes from sources on land and ends up in oceans and bays largely due to poor waste management.
The microplastics in water bodies goes deep into the tissues of fishes, as fishes are one of the major sources of food in majority of the countries, the polluted fishes cause harm to humans who eats it, as certain plastics are carcinogenic in nature when eaten can cause disease in humans. microplastics are also said to be in 90% packaged drinking water, surprisingly tap water consist of very low or no microplastic contamination, while the exact reason for microplastic contamination in water is unknown, it’s predicted that this is due to the bottle cap, which are said to be the source of microplastics.
Plastics are also present in the form of textile fibers, as they degrade they form fibrous microplastics. such microplastic particles are observed in outdoor and indoor environments, some of them may be inhaled and may persist in the lungs causing localized biological responses. Associated contaminants such as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) could desorb and lead to genotoxicity while the plastic itself and its additives (dyes, plasticizers) could lead to health effects including reproductive toxicity, carcinogenicity and mutagenicity.
The matter of fact is that, the usage of plastics is inevitable in today’s world. however, the usage can be reduced by avoiding single use plastics such as straws, plastic bags, plastic cutlery, etc. around the world food packaging, consumer and house hold goods are the hotspots of plastic usage (62.3%), which means to combat plastic pollution consumers must be aware of plastic usage and the usage of plastic resource must be done care fully