Infant feces showed 10 times more PET microplastics as compared to the adult samples. Average levels of microplastics in both age groups were similar.
Is biodegradable plastic the solution we have been looking for? Or is it simply too good to be true? Two studies conducted in Germany found two results that can help start constructing a picture.
Sunlight may be breaking down marine plastics into thousands of chemical compounds. The chemical breakdown of marine plastic due to sunlight could be taking mere weeks.
While in the oceans, microplastics also serve as a base of bacterial growth, most of which are harmful to other animals. The bacteria form a biofilm over the microplastics and colonise them.
Plastic pollution is no breaking news. We may now be at a point of no return.
The availability of a sustainable option for petrochemical plastic will allow the introduction of a biodegradable option across sectors, possibly even in routine consumer use. This should significantly reduce the environmental costs of plastic use.
The term 'microplastics' is said to have been first used in 2004, by Richard Thompson, a marine biologist. To define them technically, microplastics are any and all types of plastic fragments that are less than 5 mm in length.