The Microplastic Menace

Typical plastic pollution is the least of our problems. The microplastic crisis threatens the health of our mother earth and all animals and humans. Neptune Plastics is the solution.

What are microplastics and where do they come from?

Microplastics are miniscule pieces of plastic that are usually less than 5 mm in length. “Humans have produced over 8 billion tons of plastic” (The Washington Post). Mainly, microplastics form as these larger plastics break down in the ocean. But plastic never disappears. For example, a plastic grocery bag carelessly thrown into the ocean will remain until a marine animal mistakes it for food and eats it (therefore harming or even killing the innocent creature), or it breaks down over centuries into microplastics- destined to pollute and slowly destroy our environment.

Microplastics may also be purposefully produced. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association “microbeads, a type of microplastic, are very tiny pieces of manufactured polyethylene plastic that are added as exfoliants to health and beauty products, such as some cleansers and toothpastes.” In addition, the United Nations Environment Programme states that microbeads first appeared in commercial products 50 years ago. Within the last 10 years, awareness of the horrors of microplastics has grown and certain laws have been enacted to limit its production. Still, there is much action to be taken.

The Horrors of Microplastic

            The Plastic Pollution Correlation predicts that “by 2050, the ocean will contain more plastic than fish by weight.” Already, the fish and other marine animals ingest countless microplastic particles each day. These nagging microplastics get passed up the food chain to other animals and even humans. 

            That is not all. We also drink plastic. Even the best water filters find it difficult to eliminate the score of tiny plastics in each swallow of water. Both our saltwater and freshwater contains microplastic. The University of New Castle in Australia conducted a study in which it was found that humans consume an average of 5 grams of microplastics each week. The Washington Post notes that this is “roughly the equivilant of a credit card.” These microplastics seep their toxic chemicals into our bloodstream therefore hindering our health. 

Unfortunately, the microplastic menace is not limited to our waters. We breathe microplastics… as do animals all around the world. Microplastics may be swept up by the wind and even reside in the clouds of the atmosphere in high concentrations. They may fall back down accompanying precipitation. For this reason, plastic pollution is found even on the most obscure, once pristine and untouched, areas of nature. The Independent cited studies in which German and Swiss scientists discovered 14,400 particles of plastic per liter of ice in the Artic. They also found 154,000 particles per liter among samples from the Swiss Alps.

The detrimental effects of drinking, eating, and breathing microplastics are being studied continuously.

The Solution

The solution is simple- Neptune Plastics. Neptune produces marine-degradable plastic. Traditional plastic is made of petroleum and never biodegrades. Neptune plastic is plant-based and dissolves in water within one hour. Rather than breaking down into deadly microplastics, it chemically dissolves. When it degrades, it releases nitrogen which then provides nutrients to the environment. The vision of Neptune Plastics is to replace traditional single use plastic with their marine degradable plastic.