Microplastic pollution is a serious environmental problem that deals with the prevalence of tiny plastic particles in our environment, including the soil, rivers, and oceans. Microplastics, which are microscopic plastic particles with a diameter of less than 5 mm, can be created on purpose or develop as a byproduct of the breakdown of larger plastic objects.
About the professor mostly discuss about Microplastic Pollution
- Prof Dr Chris Gibbins is Vice Provost, Research and Knowledge Exchange, University of Nottingham Malaysia.
- Prof Ting Kang Nee is Head of the School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham Malaysia.
These small plastic particles can have severe consequences for the environment and human health. Marine animals, for instance, can easily mistake microplastics for food, which can cause blockages in their digestive system, leading to starvation. Microplastics can also absorb and transport toxic chemicals, which can harm marine life and ultimately, humans who consume seafood contaminated with microplastics.
To reduce microplastic pollution, it is important to reduce our use of plastics and properly dispose of plastic waste. We can also support companies that use biodegradable materials instead of plastics and advocate for stricter regulations on plastic waste management.
Microplastic Pollution Need to know!
We frequently associate plastic bottles and bags with plastic waste, but when these commonplace objects degrade, microplastic, a more subtle hazard to the environment, results. The tiniest plastic fragments, known as microplastics, are in the nanosize range (less than 1 m, or 0.001 mm), and are frequently invisible to the naked eye. In reality, some polymers, such as the beads used in toothpaste and other personal care items as well as in industrial operations, are purposefully produced in this minuscule size range.
Scientists are just now starting to comprehend how microplastic affects human health. There is growing evidence that it contributes to respiratory issues, particularly in people who already have health issues, and more and more reports are also linking inflammatory bowel illness to the presence of microplastics in stools. Microplastics and cancer are not directly linked, but their existence can cause tissue inflammation, which can cause DNA damage, the first step in the formation of cancer.
Cause for concern and action
It is important to take action and be concerned about how microplastics are getting into our bodies. Our study team from the University of Nottingham Malaysia has been examining microplastics in the Selangor-based Langat River as well as in the bodies of river-dwelling animals for the past four years. Our findings are extremely alarming.
In every one of the hundreds of river water samples we have gathered, we have discovered microplastic particles in quantities ranging from two to more than 80 pieces per litre of water. On the riverbed, we have discovered extremely high concentrations of microplastic, with up to 150,000 pieces per square meter.
Concerted efforts on multiple fronts
Although it will be challenging to remove the microplastics already in the environment, we can take steps to limit the amount we add. Only through coordinated action on numerous fronts can this be possible. We should all be aware of how much plastic we use personally and especially how we discard it. Reduce the quantity of single-use plastics that may end up in the environment by taking simple steps like bringing our own stainless steel containers to pack food purchased from food stalls and using glass or metal bottles to refill instead of purchasing bottled water.
While encouraging and empowering the public to recycle is important, local governments must also provide better waste management facilities and recycling options to support this. To promote the use of recyclable plastics and decrease the consumption of plastics, taxes or other financial incentives may be implemented. Government funding is desperately needed for research into novel strategies for eliminating plastics and microplastics from our freshwater and marine environments, as well as for the development of new biodegradable plastics.
Let’s all try to use less plastic between now and next year’s Earth Day. REGISTER AND RM30 FREE CREDIT, one of the top rating gaming site in Malaysia of all time.