December 4, 2013
Consider your last drink and shopping patterns. Many of us consume plastics daily to say the least. The impact of extreme use over time with any process, product or resource has an impact. The use of plastics from shopping bags to our favorite water and soda has many looking at lifecycle analysis and the environmental impact on our society. The latest research offers “Microplastics ‘pose toxic threat to marine biodiversity’” and this has a long-term effect.
The research unearthed that, ” Tiny particles of waste plastic that are ingested by shoreline “eco-engineer” worms may be negatively affecting biodiversity.” Further, “so-called microplastics may be able to transfer toxic pollutants and chemicals into the guts of lugworms, reducing the animals’ functions,” reports BBC.
One can say how does this research impact my daily life? The answer is not simple but relevant as the ecosystems that we rely for our water must maintain a dynamic balance for health and the survival of other species. A break in the ecosystem chain leads to harmful effects for all including, humans whom devour fish and other foods from the oceans and the vast water ways.
The research offered, “An estimated 150 million tonnes vanishes from the global waste-stream each year. The findings have been published in the academic journal Current Biology. The research we have done really challenges that,” Dr Browne added, referring to the findings of lab work carried out by colleagues at Plymouth University, UK, led by co-author Prof Richard Thompson. Our findings show that the plastic itself can be a problem and can affect organisms.”
“We are losing a large volume of plastic and we know it is going into the environment and the assumption being made by policymakers is that this material is non-hazardous, it has got the same ranking as scraps of food,” explained co-author Mark Browne, an ecologist from the US-based National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis.
As waste goes into the environment the impact is hazard and warning. The affordability and access to productization has an impact yet, society is not educated or ready to fully optimize zero landfill strategies but an eco-balance will need to determined for our ecosystem to flourish.