[Answered] What are Microplastics? How it pose a danger to entire humanity and other organisms?

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Danger of microplastic. Solution.
Conclusion. Way forward.

Microplastics are small plastic particles in the environment that are generally smaller than 1 mm to the 1 micrometer range. Microplastics can be formed by fragmentation of large plastic waste material. Recently microplastic was found in the ice of arctic region showing it can reach any corner of the world posing many dangers.

Danger of Microplastics to humanity and overall biodiversity:

  1. Microplastics pass the filtration and treatment processes for waste water due to small size and end up in sites of nature endangering food chain.
  2. This results in significant global impacts on wildlife from marine environment pollution.
  3. Microplastics kill biodiversity and other organisms fish before they reach reproductive age.
  4. It lead to stunted growth and behaviour change in some organisms.
  5. Microplastics are found in the viscera of dead sea birds, reptiles like turtles, whales etc.
  6. A large quantities of plastic are not recycled and enter landfill. Thus endanger human health.
  7. The durable properties of plastics make them persistent and slow to degrade in the environment entering the food chains. It holds the potential for both bioaccumulation and biomagnification.
  8. They carry toxic chemical compounds which are carcinogenic in nature.

Measures needed to tackle menace of microplastic:

  1. Local action is required for mitigating plastic pollution.
  2. A ban on microplastic in cosmetics and incentives for not using plastics is needed.
  3. Countries should cooperate and should establish measurable reduction targets for plastic waste.
  4. Media should play an effective role in mobilising general public against the use of microplastic.
  5. Civil society role is critical to prevent use of Microplastics in industry.
  6. Effective policies must focus on penal actions against violators with heavy fines and jail term.
  7. Public awareness is needed to reflect danger of Microplastics.
  8. The most efficient way to deal with the pollution is to ban the production and distribution of plastics.
  9. Enforcing segregation of waste will retrieve materials and greatly reduce the burden on the environment.
  10. Eco-friendly substitutes like cloth, paper, jute bags should be encouraged and adopted.

Marine plastic pollution is a “planetary crisis,” and we should hope for a “Paris-style” global treaty aimed at tackling it. We cannot transform our world into a ‘plastic planet’. What is needed is collective public effort to stop plastic pollution and safeguard our ecosystem/biodiversity.

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