Diplomats from 175 countries will gather in Paris next week to negotiate global plastic treaties. According to the first weather forecast related to the pollution of microplastics, the French capital will experience between 40 and 48 kilograms of floating microplastics in its air in 24 hours for the first time with the five-day talks.
This time, diplomats may not only have to carry umbrellas to avoid getting wet in the rain, but also have to worry about harmful floating microplastics. Forecasts show that microplastics floating in the air may increase up to ten times the predicted figure.
“Given this phenomenon, negotiators are likely to focus more on the issue of microplastic pollution,” says Marcus Gower, head of the Microplastic Pollution Research Center at the Minderoo Foundation in Perth, Australia.
Microplastic particles break down in the environment and enter our body as a toxic cocktail. They can cause unimaginable damage to our health.
Many concerns have been raised about the impact of microplastics on the environment in recent years. In nature, multi-colored microplastics are less than 5 mm (0.2 in) in diameter. These microplastics have been found in the ice near the North Pole and in the hearts of fish that move in the deepest and darkest parts of the oceans.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme, plastic waste kills more than one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals every year. 10 million pieces of microplastic enter the body of blue whales every day. Every minute, the equivalent of one truckload of garbage enters the oceans. In humans, microscopic pieces of plastic have been detected in blood, breast milk and placenta.
Christos Simeonides, a pediatrician, researcher at the Murdoch Children’s Research Hospital and the Mindero Foundation, says: “In our bodies, there are microplastics with dimensions between 10 nanometers and one micrometer. These microplastics most likely enter the body tissue through the biological membrane.