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
Read More
[LISTEN] 'Language surrounding albinism is still a problem'

[LISTEN] 'Language surrounding albinism is still a problem'

Chairperson at Albinism Society Of SA Nomasonto Mazibuko chats to Azania about the challenges facing those with albinism.

[LISTEN] Does 'Queen Bee' syndrome really exist?

[LISTEN] Does 'Queen Bee' syndrome really exist?

Mpumelelo Sibiya explores the theory that woman in a position of authority treat subordinates more critically if they are female.

[WATCH] 'No university can teach what I have learnt from Hugh Masekela'

[WATCH] 'No university can teach what I have learnt from Hugh Masekela'

Cameron Ward shares his musical journey as the youngest member to join Bra Hugh Masekela's band ten years ago on #702Unplugged.

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
'I’ve never invested in the stock exchange. I know it too well'

'I’ve never invested in the stock exchange. I know it too well'

Bruce Whitfield interviews Prof Lorenzo Fioramonti (UP) about his attitude toward money (hopes, fears, successes, failures, etc.).

Feasibility study for Gautrain expansion completed but no approval yet

Feasibility study for Gautrain expansion completed but no approval yet

MEC for Transport Ismail Vadi says the feasibility study has been submitted to Treasury for consideration and formal approval.

Magashule has never taken responsibility for anything says Mxolisi Dukwana

Magashule has never taken responsibility for anything says Mxolisi Dukwana

Dukwana accuses Magasshule of taking him to Saxonwold and asking him to sign a project over to the Guptas for R2 million a month.

Judge in Omotoso case dismisses defence application to recuse himself

Judge in Omotoso case dismisses defence application to recuse himself

Judge Mandela Makaula has dismissed the defence application saying it has no merit.

'As long as I'm mayor, I'm not going to sit back and watch criminals take over'

'As long as I'm mayor, I'm not going to sit back and watch criminals take over'

City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba says criminals cannot be allowed to threaten service delivery in the city.

[Watch] SA choir stuns with isiZulu cover of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’

[Watch] SA choir stuns with isiZulu cover of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’

Khabazela shares some of the most popular tweets, posts, and videos on 'What's gone Viral'.