On the danger of microplastics and how they may land up on your plate

According to estimates by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), if the dumping of plastic items such as bottles, bags, and cups continues, by 2050 there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish.

Last month UNEP launched the #CleanSeas Campaign to challenge marine litter through reducing the use and production of plastic.

The campaign also aims to eliminate microplastics from cosmetics by 2022.

Microplastics – plastic particles that are smaller than 5mm in length - can be found in toothpaste and washing powder.

And they are harmful, says Dr Deborah Robertson-Andersson, a Senior Lecturer in Marine Biology in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Kwazulu- Natal.

Robertson-Andersson shares how these microplastics find their way into the sea, and onto your plate.

We have done some research in Durban’s rivers and on Durban’s beaches and 80% of the micro plastic on Durban beaches comes from our homes.

Dr Deborah Robertson-Andersson, Senior Lecturer at UKZN

71% is made up of microfibers Every time you wash plastic clothing in your washing machine, your washing machine actually sheds off the fibers and they go down the drain, through the sewage systems and lands up on the beaches.

Dr Deborah Robertson-Andersson, Senior Lecturer at UKZN

The other 9% is from your products like your bath products or toothpaste that end up going down your drain as well.

Dr Deborah Robertson-Andersson, Senior Lecturer at UKZN

Statistics worldwide shows that each one of us eats about 20 kg of fish a year.

Dr Deborah Robertson-Andersson, Senior Lecturer at UKZN

That means that 10 kg of the fish you are eating has the potential to contain a pollutant.

Dr Deborah Robertson-Andersson, Senior Lecturer at UKZN

Listen to the full interview to find out what effects these have on sea life and your body…


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI

702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
As a matter of fact: Has the murder rate for women in SA spiked by 117%?

As a matter of fact: Has the murder rate for women in SA spiked by 117%?

The claim of a 117% rise in the killing of women in South Africa since 2015 was revealed during an Al Jazeera news programme.

[LISTEN] 'State institutions were sacrificed to protect individuals within ANC'

[LISTEN] 'State institutions were sacrificed to protect individuals within ANC'

The amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism's Sam Sole explains how we got where we are with State Capture.

#702Unplugged: Musa performs tracks from his brand new album

#702Unplugged: Musa performs tracks from his brand new album

The self-titled 12 track album is Musa's first project without his mentor Robbie Malinga.

Where does your money for plastic shopping bags go?

Where does your money for plastic shopping bags go?

Government started charging for plastic shopping bags to minimise pollution and start recycling companies, but is this happening?

Curbing plastic pollution by making it more difficult to buy plastic bags

Curbing plastic pollution by making it more difficult to buy plastic bags

Mark Gordon, Deputy Director-General for Chemicals and Waste Management in the Department of Environmental Affairs, describes how plastic pollution is being addressed in the country.

How are unborn babies affected by polluted air?

How are unborn babies affected by polluted air?

Researchers have found that exposure to pollution during pregnancy could have negative effects to childrens' brain development.

Popular articles
ConCourt to rule on law that governs the right to protest

ConCourt to rule on law that governs the right to protest

Civil rights groups claim that the Regulation of Gatherings Act limits and criminalises peaceful protest through intimidation.

[LISTEN] 'Its high time churches moved forward on same-sex couples'

[LISTEN] 'Its high time churches moved forward on same-sex couples'

Reverend Laurie Gaum Dominee at the Dutch Reformed Church says churches should embrace the diversity of people's sexuality.

[LISTEN] Fears that new deal with Cape Town brewery may monopolise SA craft beer

[LISTEN] Fears that new deal with Cape Town brewery may monopolise SA craft beer

A Cape Town-based brewing company and The Tap Room have signed a deal to buy around 700 installed draught taps around SA.

Questions raised over qualifications of Tshwane EMS Head

Questions raised over qualifications of Tshwane EMS Head

SAMWU members allege that EMS head Previn Govender misrepresented his credentials.

Each year rich countries waste as much food as sub-Saharan Africa produces

Each year rich countries waste as much food as sub-Saharan Africa produces

We waste a third of all food produced. If we avoid 25% of that wastage, it could feed 870 million hungry mouths.

As a matter of fact: Has the murder rate for women in SA spiked by 117%?

As a matter of fact: Has the murder rate for women in SA spiked by 117%?

The claim of a 117% rise in the killing of women in South Africa since 2015 was revealed during an Al Jazeera news programme.

Man who admitted to killing 13-year-old CPT schoolgirl handed life sentence

Man who admitted to killing 13-year-old CPT schoolgirl handed life sentence

Andrew Plaatjies was handed two concurrent life sentences after admitting to the murder and attempted rape of the teenage girl.

[LISTEN] 'State institutions were sacrificed to protect individuals within ANC'

[LISTEN] 'State institutions were sacrificed to protect individuals within ANC'

The amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism's Sam Sole explains how we got where we are with State Capture.

[LISTEN] Family of four to pay almost R3 000 for food 'staples' in 2019

[LISTEN] Family of four to pay almost R3 000 for food 'staples' in 2019

BFAP food price specialist Marlene Louw explains the 2018-2027 baseline data on food prices.

Technobyte: Would you go under the knife in order to take the perfect selfie?

Technobyte: Would you go under the knife in order to take the perfect selfie?

Aki Anastasiou reviews the new Samsung Galaxy Note 9, and talks about the latest craze of cosmetic surgery for good selfies.