A piece of plastic less than five millimetres across is a piece of microplastic and the average person is creating and worse, consuming, millions possibly billions of these pieces of plastic everyday.
We don’t know the full list of health effects that this will have, yet, but you can be sure that if we don’t start to reduce the number of microplastics that we consume in everyday life it won’t be good.
As you will see in our list of ways to get rid of these things – there are many ill effects we already know about.
Don’t Microwave Plastic Containers
This might sound silly, after all these containers are not single use plastics and and you’ve probably been using them for all sorts of food for years.
And yet, when the World Wildlife Fund investigated just how much of these tiny particles of plastic that we’re sticking in our mouths each week, the numbers came out fairly distressing.
Each of us eats, roughly the equivalent of a half a credit card of plastic each week. And no, that’s not a typo – plastic particles are now a huge part of what goes into every human body all of the time.
And if you heat plastic in the microwave? Well, it sheds tiny bits of plastic all over your food. Yum, right? No, we didn’t think so either. Stop microwaving food in plastic.
Drink Tap Water (Filtered) Not Out Of Plastic Bottles
This ought to be fairly obvious but drinking water doesn’t naturally come in plastic fabricated bottles and bottled water is another great source of plastic fibres in your diet.
It’s time to start drinking tap water, which sadly, is not entirely made of natural materials either. In fact, thanks to our terrible habits when it comes to plastic – it’s full of microparticles too.
But, scientists say that if we filter our tap water, we can remove about 99.9% of these particles. So buy a water filter which is specifically rated to remove microplastics.
Oh and plastic straws are also a no-no. Don’t start drinking water out of a glass with a plastic straw.
Ditch The Takeaway Plastic Cups
Takeway cups, rather like your microwave container, are another great source of synthetic fibres and dietary plastic.
The HDPE plastic that this kind of stuff is made out of (and oddly, so is plastic cutlery) is meant to be safe for human use.
But these synthetic materials have been linked with the leakage of heavy metals and chemcials which act like estrongen in your blood.
Buy a reusable cup, buy reusable cutlery made from anything but plastic and stick to that. Many coffee shops give discounts for people who use their own cup too – so you can save money. We’ve got a great list of the best glass water bottles to get you started.
Avoid Plastic Pollution Products (Codes 3,6 & 7)
If you have a careful look at the food packaging and other plastics that you buy, there’s a coding system on them for recycling.
This helps recyclers know which harmful chemicals are in which pieces of plastic and allows them to more effectively recycle.
Those with codes of 3, 6 & 7 are harder to recycle and are likely to create more microfibre pollution than the average plastic does. You can avoid microplastics more easily, if you avoid theses codes.
Reduce Plastic Waste From Your Laundry
Did you know that nearly 60% of modern clothing is synthetic clothing made from synthetic fabrics and when you wash clothes in your washing machines, these materials release microplastics – thousands of them in every wash.
Some fabrics can release up to 700,000 particles per wash! Nearly a third of all the plastics in our oceans come from this particular form of plastic pollution.
Now, we’re not saying “be dirty” – we’re saying use a fiber-catching filter on your washing machine. This cuts down massively on the amount of fibers that get out into the wild.
You can also use a laundry ball (check our best sustainable laundry detergent brands for more on this) to reduce the amount of fibers that get ripped off during the wash.
Stop Using Cosmetic Products With Plastic In Them
Get into clean beauty and avoid plastics in makeup. You really don’t need facial scrubs or wet wipes that shed fibers onto your skin and into your mouth, do you?
Cut Down On Seafood (Food Chain Elimination)
We know, your doctor probably encourages you to eat seafood and fish.
Sadly, until we reduce microfibre pollution then the natural processes that fish get involved in are riddled with synthetic fibers and each bit of seafood that you eat is full of plastic.
Don’t stop eating it all together, but do cut down.
Get Rid Of Your Tea Bags
This is, perhaps, the worst statistic of all in a recent study they found that a tea bag (which is made of plastic) released more than 11 billion microplastics into your cup of tea.
Seriously, this is time to get into using tea leaves. Like with our best organic green tea brands.
This isn’t just about eliminating single use plastic or changing your morning cup of tea – it’s about working to preserve the natural environment by eliminating plastics whenever we can.
And it’s not just to significantly reduce the environmental impact of microplastic fibres on the world, but also to try and prevent serious implications for our own health and the health of our families.