Microplastics are all over, even in the sky, carried in the bodies of insects. These plastics are dangerous due to their small size, making them hard to identify but, easy to absorb. They can harbour bacteria, leach toxic chemicals and get stuck in the digestive tracts of animals and humans alike. In a recent study published in the journal “Biology Letters”, researchers fed fluorescent microplastic particles to mosquito larvae and found the mosquitoes carried the microplastic into adulthood. This study suggests microplastics pose a threat to terrestrial birds and other insect eating creatures, and it won’t end soon as plastic production is expected to climb 40% within the next decade. Although there has been limited research on the effects of microplastics on wildlife and humans before this study, we know that many microplastics are fibres shed by synthetic clothing while in washers. A single wash can release 700,000 fibres. “We emit billion of plastic fibres every year, many which go straight into rivers” says Matt Shardlow, chief executive of the conservation charity Buglife. Elevating ocean temperatures due to climate change are increasing the rates of evaporation which leave higher concentrations of saltwater. This in turn, increases the amount of plastics that are found at the surface level. One of the researchers, Professor Callaghan, concluded, “You could have a lot of plastic going up. It’s totally depressing. These plastics are going to be around forever.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Photo credit: @chesbayprogram–this photo has been colored from its original form.