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THE JOURNAL | 06.08.2020

Can we combat the microplastic pandemic? A positive perspective and a way forward

Microplastics are devastating to our bodies and our environment and they’re everywhere. Luckily, there’s a way to combat this pandemic.

 

Pollution is everywhere and nothing is quite as heart-wrenching as photos of sea animals trapped in it, suffocated by it, or surviving among it. Concerned people try to make a difference by refusing plastic bags, straws with their beverages or choosing plastic free products. Sadly, plastic straws are barely the tip of the iceberg. In fact, in the grander scope of the issue, plastic straws barely even feature. 

This post is not about doom and gloom, in fact, we want to raise your spirits and help you to feel empowered to be the change you wish to see in the world. We all want to know how to reduce microplastic pollution. So, here it is. 

First, you have to understand the problem and look at the pollution facts. 

Plastic, in the form of microplastic, has become far more than a packaging and a product material. It’s permeated everything. It’s in the foods we eat, it’s in the rain that pours down us, and it’s even in the air we breathe. Here’s one of the most alarming pollution facts: Did you know that the average person consumes about a credit cards’ worth of microplastic in a week? That’s about 5 grams of microplastic!

Not that surprising when you consider that humans have produced (and failed to safely dispose of) of 8 billion tons of plastic since the 1950s. With the average decomposition time of plastic being 400 years, the first plastics ever produced are still sitting in landfills or floating around in our oceans. Naeco has been looking into how to reduce microplastic pollution and we have put our ideas into motion with fantastic results. 

Microplastic: Curbing the pandemic

That enormous quantity of plastic breaks down, albeit very slowly, and leeches into natural ecosystems. When you understand how intricately each system is connected with the next in nature, you can understand how quickly a plastic pandemic can spread. From leeching microscopic plastic particles into rivers and lakes, it often evaporates into the air, before coming down in the rain and into the soil where it is absorbed by the plants. During this process, it has contaminated our water supply, the air we breathe, and the food we eat. Research suggests that the average person ingests around 74,000 particles of plastic per year - and that’s microplastic. Pollution facts are certainly sobering and they don’t paint a very positive future for the earth. It’s imperative, not only for the environment, that we learn how to reduce microplastic pollution.

It’s also not helping the cancer epidemic. BPA and BPB (present in most forms of plastic) are both endocrine disruptors, meaning they can predispose you to cancer. Microplastics are also able to cross the blood-brain-barrier, which is there to protect the brain against toxins in the bloodstream. 

This means that microplastics contribute to illnesses like Alzheimer’s Disease. Another scary pollution fact? Microplastics can also pass through the placenta of a mother and reach her growing baby. Microplastic might be one of the most significant health hazards of our day and age, and it’s everywhere. Don’t let this get you down - you’re better equipped to do good in the world when you feel good. Let’s look at this with a can-do attitude.

Do Good. Look Good. Feel Good.

Now for the good stuff. How to reduce microplastic pollution. 

Plastic might be a serious pandemic (that’s an unfortunate pollution fact we can’t deny) for our planet but we can overcome it. Let’s stop viewing it as waste. We’re all ridden with guilt over our plastic addiction, but until we find an alternative product that’s as affordable, versatile, and convenient to use, it’s going to stay around. 

At Naeco, we see it as a resource. Something we can use for the power of good. When plastic is used responsibly and not disposed of, but reused over and over, microplastics are eliminated. They never have the chance to leech into the environment. Look at our range of Theremore wear that’s designed for frigid conditions. This range is made from plastic bottles that were destined for landfills where they leech into the ground, deposing microplastic into our groundwater. Instead, they’re used to create unrivalled quality thermo-wear that is lightweight, enables movement, and seals in warmth with its impressive 90/10 loft rating. 

The mind shift to stay positive amid the bleak pollution facts

What if beach clean-up initiatives and programs weren’t simply removing waste from the coastlines, but actually fuelling clothing production at the same time? That’s how to reduce microplastic pollution. 

That’s the reality. When you buy Naeco clothing, you’re part of that movement. You’re fuelling the cleanups and you’re paying for clothing that’s fashionable, attractive, and 100% sustainable. Stay informed but don’t let reality weigh you down. Join the movement because we believe that when you do good, you look good, and you can feel good at the same time.