From the depths of the sea to the summit of Mount Everest, microplastics prevail. Many studies suggest that we will really start to see the harmful effects of microplastics on our environment very soon. So, how can we help prevent this?


What are microplastics?

Microplastics are pieces of plastic less than 5mm long. They have been found almost everywhere including over 72% of tap water in Europe. This comes from the millions of microplastics dumped in our oceans every year.


1 - Reduce plastic usage

I know it sounds simple, but plastics are everywhere, attaching labels to our clothes, inside face masks, bottles, takeaway cups and more. Many stores have made an attempt to switch from plastic to paper bags and encourage you to bring your own. This reduction of plastics may also be beneficial for you, as many retailers give you discounts or rewards for bringing your own reusable cups or bags. So the next time you are shopping, be extra cautious over what you are buying and whether it will be beneficial for the environment.


2 - Reduce our consumption of fast fashion

Fast fashion is one of the biggest contributors to a specific type of microplastics called microfibers. These are found in certain materials including polyester, nylon and acrylics. Washing these causes the microfibers to enter the water and later the ocean, and by tumble drying them, emit microplastics into the air we breathe. Try to opt for more eco-friendly materials such as cotton the next time you purchase a piece of clothing


3 - Stop using products containing microbeads

Many face washes or exfoliants contain microbeads. These are different to other forms of microplastics as they are specifically manufactured to be microplastics. These enter the ocean through our water treatment and are then eaten by fish. These fish are then consumed by people, allowing the microplastics to enter our bodies. Instead of using microbeads as an exfoliant, opt for a chemical exfoliant which will not contain these harmful microplastics.


When it comes to the environment, we all need to be a little more cautious over what we are buying to ensure it is the most eco-friendly option possible.