On World Oceans Day, let’s talk about the 8 million metric tons of plastic that ends up in the oceans every year and what you can do about it.
Your closet and dresser drawers are full of plastic - and not the kind from packaging, straws and shopping bags. Some of our favorite fabrics, whether it’s techy workout gear or your fleece winter pullover, can release upwards of 730,000 synthetic particles per wash. When these synthetic fibers end up in our waterways they become a form of microplastic pollution.
Microplastics are exactly what they sound like: tiny pieces of plastic that result from the inevitable breakdown of the plastic products around us. As they get smaller and smaller, microplastics become harder to catch, clean up or keep out of our rivers, oceans and marine food webs. ...
The toxic effects of plastics pollution on human health
—Belinda McFadgen, for OEC
In early March of 2019, a Cuvier’s beaked whale washed up dead in the Philippines. The whale had died of gastric shock, brought on by the 88 lbs. of plastic bags found in its stomach.
The sheer volume of plastic waste and its brutal impact on marine wildlife is shocking. But just as disturbing is the emerging story of how the toxicity of plastic pollution is affecting human health and the health of the planet as a whole.
A growing understanding of toxic effects
More than twenty years ago, a health hazard from widespread plastic use made headlines. In 1993, ...