What do we know about microplastics?
With each new scientific investigation, the magnitude and impact of plastic pollution become increasingly evident. We eat, drink, and breathe in microplastics; they rain down upon us and are even found in breast milk, nourishing our children.
Microplastics are entering human and planetary ecosystems through various sources, as stated in a World Economic Forum article:
Intentional primary microplastics: These are manufactured with the intention of being used in a variety of products, such as cosmetics and personal care products. Often, these microplastics are used in exfoliants and cleaning products, making it easier for them to be released into the environment and ultimately enter our food chain.
Unintentional primary microplastics: These microplastics result from the wear and tear of plastic products, such as paint, tires, textiles, and pellets. A 2022 report identified paint as the largest source of microplastic leakage worldwide. These small plastic fragments break off over time and spread throughout the environment.
Degraded macroplastics or secondary microplastics: These are plastic products, packaging, and single-use items that break down into smaller fragments over time, thus contributing to the growing contamination of microplastics in our oceans and ecosystems.
In this last group, napkin packaging falls. Traditional napkins are made from conventional plastic and use chemical inks for their logos.
At Bio Tissue, we’ve reimagined this process. We’ve sought state-of-the-art technology to create bags from organic materials that are 100% compostable, and our packaging ink is plant-based, causing no pollution. We use less water in manufacturing, and our packaging can be used as compost for plants and gardens, never ending up abandoned in rivers and the sea for decades
Scientific research suggests that an average person ingests at least 50,000 microplastic particles each year and similarly inhales a significant quantity of these particles. However, the actual figure is likely much higher as plastic pollution in only a small number of foods and beverages has been analyzed so far.
The consequences of this constant exposure to microplastics are concerning. For example, Taiwanese scientists have found that the consumption of microplastics negatively impacts brain health and memory in laboratory mice. Additionally, links have been established between exposure to chemical additives leaching from plastics and reproductive issues, brain health, obesity, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. These harmful effects affect babies, children, and adults of all ages.
It’s important to note that microplastics should not be considered a secondary or subsidiary issue to macroplastic pollution. Each poses a significant threat to our planet and our health.
The call to action is to do something, and as consumers, we have choices in our hands. You too can make a change; choose sustainable products, purpose-driven products, like Bio Tissue.