IGNIS Summer 2017 - Page 14

single-use plastic for a day, or a week, or even the whole month. Not as easy as it sounds. Look at all the packaging that comes with a product: food on plastic trays covered in clingfilm; bags of ready- packed fruit and vegetables; toiletries in plastic bottles; ready meals for the microwave. And then there is the hidden plastic. Did you realise that if you had a cup of tea this morning it probably used a teabag that contains plastic? Or perhaps you used a face scrub? Microbeads, (tiny particles of plastic) have been added to some cosmetic products, like face scrubs and toothpastes. The microbeads flow down the sink pipes into the sewers, the water treatment plants can’t filter out products that small, therefore the microbeads continue on their way to the ocean where sea life, such as plankton and other small organisms eat them. The microbeads then work their way up the food chain to the point where we then eat them. Although the specific problem of microbeads is recognised, and bans are gradually being introduced around the world, another source of microplastic comes in the form of microfibres. Embed video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqkekY5t7KY 14 IGNIS