It’s no secret that the world is facing a major crisis when it comes to pollution. Experts from across the globe are working tirelessly to discover ways to remedy this potentially lethal situation. One of the biggest problems that the scientific community is focusing on currently is the effect of plastic pollution on the planet. More specifically, they are concerned with the buildup of tiny remnants known as microplastics.

What Are Microplastics?

Microplastics are minuscule fragments of discarded plastic that are often no bigger than the letters on a keyboard. Since the invention of plastic, 8 billion tons have been produced. When it’s thrown away, it doesn’t decompose like other materials.

It merely breaks down gradually over time, while still maintaining it’s chemical properties. The scientific community has been aware of their existence in the ocean for some time, but it is realizing that the problem is much worse than anticipated.

They Are Everywhere

It’s been discovered that these microplastics are not only commonly found in drinking water (and beer), but in our soil as well.

With so much of this hazardous material present in lakes, rivers, and oceans—in addition to the soil—many animals are ingesting these harmful microplastics.

Even In The Food Chain

In turn, we humans eat these very same animals. Chelsea Rochman, a pioneer in microplastic pollution research, questioned, “We eat fish that eat plastic. Are there things that transfer to the tissue? Does the plastic itself transfer to the tissue? Do the chemicals associated with the plastic transfer to the tissue?”

Another expert in the field of microplastics, Clara Thaysen, said, “This happens all the time. We invent something that seems really great and…we don’t think and we become so dependent on it.” The effects of microplastics on humans is still being investigated but could have far-reaching consequences.