We’re all aware of the common contaminants that can get into the ocean and potentially harm our aquatic wildlife, but what about the small plastic particles that we do not always see? For instance, sometimes shedding from outdoor clothing can cause pollution due to the synthetic fabrics. Cigarette butts can also cause a large amount of pollution due to the microfibers that they contain. They are not always easily biodegradable, which also adds to the toxic footprint that they leave.

Key Takeaways:

  • In the U.K. alone, tyres are estimated to produce about 63,000 tonnes of styrene plastic dust each year from driving wear.
  • Nylon, polyester, spandex, acrylic and other artificial textiles used in clothing shed massive amounts of polluting micro fibers when washed.
  • Other common sources of microplastic pollution include wet wipes, glitter, tennis balls, teabags and other common household goods.

“The problem is that all plastic ends up tiny. And it persists, no matter what its size. In the ocean, even the largest and most resilient bits of plastic are broken up and degraded by the waves and sunlight until eventually these chunks measure less than five millimetres across – about the size of an ant – and they are classed as “secondary microplastics”.”

Read more: https://theconversation.com/ten-stealth-microplastics-to-avoid-if-you-want-to-save-the-oceans-90063


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