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By Katiana Murillo
A good amount of this waste ends up in the ocean due to poorly managed landfills, as well as other activities such as tourism and fishing. ? Some materials sink, but others float and travel long distances due to ocean currents - and end up affecting animals such as turtles, dolphins, whales, and ecosystems as fragile as coral reefs.
Other studies have shown that 35% of commercial fish have an average of one or two pieces of plastic in their stomachs.
In recent years, concern has also grown about microplastics, which are particles up to 5mm in diameter created with plastic fragments and are ingested by marine organisms such as birds, fish and zooplankton.
These microplastics are found in products such as microbeads in toothpastes, gels and facial cleansers, which are not usually filtered by wastewater treatment, but are expelled directly into rivers, lakes and oceans.
An app that lets consumers know if a product contains microbeads is even available and is spreading internationally.
It turns out that a multitude of microplastics have been discovered in Atlantic microbial communities because this "plastic sphere" can facilitate the transport of multiple microbes, pathogens and species of algae. Additionally, microplastics pose a great threat to larger organisms like the northern right whale due to their eating habits.
So if you represent a business or consumer that wants to make a difference, pay attention to plastics and use your power of decision. A small action added to that of others will make it possible.