There are estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic litter that is free flowing in our oceans per year and just 9 percent of plastic waste produced is recycled. The remaining percentage ends up in dumps, landfills and the environment. Some even find its way to bodies of water such as lakes, rivers and even our ocean through flushing of disposable wipes, hygiene products and leakage.
The Problems that Plastic Pollution Brings
Yet another major problem is related to micro-plastics or plastics that are less than 5mm and that poses growing environmental, health and economic hazards. There are instances in which these are added intentionally to products like for instance, seed coatings, cosmetics, washing powders, paint and several other applications.
In addition to that, they’re generated from tear and wear, via the production of tires and synthetic textiles. Discarded plastics also break down into smaller plastics via natural weathering processes.
Micro-plastics could enter the bodies of water in different paths including runoff from land, roads, municipal wastewater and atmospheric deposition.
How it can be Prevented?
A lot of effort has been exerted both in identifying the scale of threat of plastics to human health and our ecosystem. Among the plausible solutions to deal with this matter includes protecting large bodies of water, secondary as well as tertiary wastewater treatment that relies on membrane filtration as a way to avoid micro-plastics from entering lakes and rivers.