What are Microplastics?
We've all seen them, commercials for the next new acne-blasting face wash that contain microbeads that really get down into your pores to give you perfect skin so that you can finally be happy with yourself. From factory, to shelf, to home, to face, then down the drain and into the water column, and finally into the belly of an unsuspecting victim-a fish, a dolphin, a sea bird. Believe it or not, these "microbeads" are actually microplastics and are a contributing factor to the decline of our oceans' health.
Human manufacturing and consumption of environmentally unfriendly products such as this one and irresponsible disposal of everyday plastic products (bags, bottles, containers) is exactly what is behind the accumulation of microplastics in our oceans.
You see, plastic never (ever) goes away. Recyclable plastic just means that it is recycled into a lesser quality plastic. In the ocean it just breaks down, and breaks down, until you're left with what Dianna Parker from the NOAA Marine Debris Program calls "a peppery soup" of microplastics.