* 'We are living in a sea of microplastics!     Microplastics are in our food, our drinks, our oceans, our homes AND US!!

* This is the increasingly serious finding of latest research.  Microplastics have been found in the Arctic, in the deepest ocean trenches, in land and sea animals, fish and birds  - it is estimated there 14 million tonnes of microplastic on our oceans floors! - mainly from decomposing plastic bags and containers thrown mindlessly into the seas, lakes, rivers and oceans of the world!

* WE are INHALING and INGESTING significant amounts of tiny fibres of plastic! -  from petrochemicals  produced from oil and gas!       SOLUTION: STOP fossil fuel mining and burning and change to renewable electric energy from the SUN! 

* So what are 'MICROPLASTICS' ? Tiny fibres of plastic 1-5 millimetres in size - easily able to be breathed in and digested! 

These are released as the plastic breaks down.

* 'How do we get them?"

We get microplastics from the air, from eating seafood [that has ingested microplastics from the ocean], from drink bottles, from many different plastic containers [particularly 'take-away' single -use plastic containers] and from our own actions [washing clothes in hot water, spindle machines and using clothes dryers], carpets [30% of dust in our homes can be microplastics].

* One of the major ways we inhale microplastics is from motor vehicles!  78% of the 14 million tonnes of microplastics that lie on our ocean bottoms come from motor vehicle tyres!  [Pew Charitable Trust]. Car tyres consist of 24% synthetic rubber- a variation of petrochemical biproducts to stop tyres cracking and breaking down as vehicles travel. Synthetic tyre rubber contains more than 400 chemical compounds, many carcinogenic.  'Emissions Analytics UK' has calculated that 'a cars' four tyres emit 1 trillion ultrafine particles in every kilometre travelled' - particles so fine they can pass through the lung tissue into the bloodstream and across the blood-brain barrier, potentially causing brain damage or delayed brain development.  

Tyre and brake dust emissions rival in many cases those from exhaust pipes! 

The findings from all this research might help to explain why people, and particularly children,  living and/or working close to major highways carrying heavy vehicles [like 18 wheeler semi trailers emitting 4.5 trillion micro particles every kilometre!] often experience greater incidence of respiratory illness and complaints.

The health impacts of these emissions are considered to be so serious that alternatives to synthetic rubber are being developed. The Continental Tyre Company in Germany is developing tyres made from dandelion roots which emit 25% less carcinogenic compounds. Tyre Collective UK has produced a device attached to each tyre to catch the tyre dust as it is emitted. Particles are then recycled to make new tyres.

However what is really needed is for governments to act to legislate for emission standards that include emissions from tyres as well as exhaust. The EU government, with already some of the strictest exhaust emissions, is the first to act on this. New 'Euro 7' rules from 2025 will set limits to particulate emissions from brakes and microplastics from tyres. UK tyre companies are already peparing for this change.  

Australia's government of course is still yet to set any standards for any vehicle emissions that are comparable to other developed countries - apart from Russia!! Let alone any emission standards for brakes or tyres!

* As yet we do not know what the long-term effects of the increasing numbers of microplastics in our bodies will be. BUT what we do know is that many of the microplastics as they break down release substances that are carcinogenic [cancers causing] and mutagenic [damage to our DNA - our very life cells!]

* 'How do I minimize my risk from microplastics?'  As yet the simplest answer is to buy and use any plastic as infrequently as possible - even recycled plastic - some of which has been found to release microplastics. And, don't spend too much time along major roads!


We have given up getting our food in plastic bags from shopkeepers - our meat and fish when bought is placed in glass containers by the counter staff - most are happy to do that - although some will want to tell you their plastic bags are recyclable! 

Our vegetables - when we need a carry container are placed in fibre-based netbags. 

Kitchen plastic film has been replaced with material stretch covers - 'like they used in the 'olden days' - before plastic!!'

Maybe use electric trains - rather than drive your car when you don't have to!

TAKE THE 'NO USE PLASTIC CHALLENGE' - it's not hard once you get into the swing of it!   AND STAY HEALTHY!