Since the mass production of plastic from the 1920s to the 1950s, plastic has been a useful commodity for various reasons. However, its biggest drawback is the amount of harm it can cause when thrown away after it has fulfilled its use. Microplastic is often the most harmful because it can get everywhere and can be defined as:
‘Plastic debris can come in all shapes and sizes, but those that are less than five millimeters in length (or about the size of a sesame seed)’
These tiny particles easily pass through water filtration systems, access fish and birds which rely on the ocean and lakes for sources of food. Some speculate that they even find there way inside humans through various avenues of our own consumption. Safe to say that plastic is now everywhere and polluted across most parts of the world.
Microplastics now pollute our planet extensively, to the point where they have recently been discovered at the summit of Mount Everest. Researchers concluded:
‘evidence of microplastic pollution on Mount Everest. While the highest concentrations of microplastics were around Base Camp where hikers and trekkers spend the most time, the team also found microplastics as high up as 8,440 meters above sea level, just below the summit ‘
This is alarming news as now we have evidence that the extent of our plastic pollution has no end, being found from the depths of the ocean to some of the largest peaks on the planet. What is even more concerning is that plastic pollution is one of the easiest to prevent, simply investing into biodegradable alternatives and not using plastic is the easiest way to prevent further damage. However, the overuse of plastic has already polluted our planet to a point where it will be difficult to cleanse the planet from all aspects of its grasp. Maybe it will become a normalised problem caused by our destructive behaviour, as it is already known that plastic pollution has a negative impact on humans, sea birds and marine life.