Are you drinking a cup of tea or Microplastics?

Do you frequently have hot beverages in single-use cups?

If your answer is yes then I would highly recommend reading further. Single-use plastics (SUPs) are products that are supposed to be used once and then discarded including packaging waste, water bottles, etc

A product made from polymers of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), Polystyrene (PS), Polypropylene (PP), Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is classified as single-use plastics as per the United Nations. As per the Government of Australia, single-use plastic is like shopping bags, cups, straws and packaging. While the IEEP and European Commission say single-use plastic is any disposable plastic item designed to be used only once. Know more

Your single-use cups are lined with low-density polyethylene when you pour your boiling hot beverage like tea/coffee this lining is affected and trillions of microscopic plastic particles are shed into your drink. These small particles are often referred to as microplastics. We don’t have much evidence of how these particles affect living organisms, and how repeated exposure could cause long-term health hazards which have caught scientists’ attention. Know more

So, once again I reiterate my question are we drinking a cup of tea or microplastics.

Let’s first understand what are these microplastics

Microplastics are plastic particles which are less than 5 mm (0.2 inches) in length, that are present in the environment as a consequence of plastic pollution. Microplastics are present in a variety of products like cosmetics, synthetic clothing, plastic bags and bottles etc.

As plastic burgeons’ our entire world there is no doubt microplastics are present everywhere. There are two kinds of microplastics – primary and secondary. Primary microplastics like microbeads enter our eco-system directly from products we use like personal care, plastic pellets, plastic fibres, synthetic textiles etc. Secondary microplastics form on the breakdown of larger plastics due to weathering, exposure to wind, water, UV radiation etc.

Few Alarming Examples

Scientists for the first time have discovered microplastics in freshly fallen snow in Antarctica. Microplastics are not biodegradable so what’s disturbing is that they have found their way to places which are sparsely populated as well. Know more

Most of our waste is disposed of in the water bodies therefore, microplastics is one of the biggest concern for ocean pollution. Marine life is exposed to this which ultimately enters our food chain when we consume them. Know more

Recently scientists have discovered “plastitar” i.e tar from oil spills mixed with multicoloured microplastics on the Canary Islands. Know more

Why are Microplastics a concern?

It won’t be completely wrong if I say microplastics are omnipresent because of the heavy use of plastics. Although we don’t have direct evidence of how they affect living organisms. Considering the higher concentration of exposure one cannot deny the potential physical and toxicological risks.

The presence of microplastics has been detected right in our drinking water, seafood, food products etc

Since microplastics are non-biodegradable it poses a major risk to our environment and us.

Awareness is the key to plastic pollution and discovering biodegradable options is the next big step we need to focus upon. It’s not an easy task considering the high usage of plastics in all areas of life but it’s vital.

‘This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter“. My endeavour while writing for this cause is for more people to support an eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle.

Image: Pixabay & Reference Links Shared

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

1 comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: