• How Can You Avoid Microplastics?

Waste Management

How Can You Avoid Microplastics?

Jan 14 2022

Most commonly classified as particles of plastic less than 5mm in length, microplastics are everywhere around us. They’ve managed to contaminate the furthest reaches of planet Earth, including the Arctic Circle and the top of Mount Everest, while they’re also present in the air we breathe and the food and drink we consume. As such, avoiding them completely is virtually impossible at the present time.

Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a positive impact on the volume of microplastics in the environment going forwards. Prevention is famously better than the cure, which is why stopping microplastics from polluting the planet in the first place is far preferable to cleaning them up or avoiding them after the fact. Here are a handful of easy ways in which you can become part of the solution.

  1. Avoid synthetic clothing options

Garment manufacturers often favour materials which contain a high degree of plastic, such as polyester, nylon and spandex. That’s because these items are versatile, affordable and long-lasting – but they’re also a chief source of microplastics in the world. Instead, seek out clothes made from all-natural materials like wool, cotton and hemp, which will reduce their chances of contaminating the environment to nil.

  1. Change your laundry habits

How do the microplastics escape from your wardrobe into the environment, we hear you ask? There are a variety of ways such contamination can happen, but the most common one is washing. Try to use a low setting when laundering your clothes and buy a filter capable of trapping any microplastics which might escape during the wash. Hang your laundry up to dry rather than tumble drying it, too.

  1. Ditch bottled water

Did you know that tap water contains up to 3,000 times fewer microplastics than bottled water? Get yourself a quality reusable drinks container and take it everywhere with you, filling up from the tap at home or from drinking fountains while out and about. Not only will you reduce your own exposure to microplastics in the water you drink, but you’ll also contribute less waste in the form of the bottle after use.

  1. Steer clear of seafood

While scientists, environmentalists and entrepreneurs are looking at ever more innovative ways of cleaning up the masses of plastic waste found in our seas and oceans, the sad truth is that up to 12 million tonnes of the stuff enter them every year. Over time, these break down into smaller microplastics, at which point they’re consumed by fish, shellfish and other marine dwelling animals. Cut them out of your diet to avoid the plastics in their stomachs.

  1. Take public transportation

Have you noticed that the majority of these tips are beneficial towards the environment as well your own health? Taking public transport not only reduces the carbon emissions associated with your journey, but also leads to less wear and tear of tyres and brake pads, which are significant sources of microplastic pollution. Better still, you should walk or cycle for shorter journeys, but a bus or train is just fine for getting from A to B over a larger distance.


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