Microplastic Pollution: California State Government Adopts Microplastic Cleanup Strategy

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Microplastics are plastic fragments broken down into extremely small pieces or particles.

The product of plastic recycling, disposal or combustion, microplastics pose a biological and environmental threat. This has been evident since the beginning of plastic consumerism in the last century.

California is the first US state to commit to a microplastic cleanup strategy to combat microplastic pollution.

While the strategy isn’t meant to completely eradicate all plastics from the state, it will focus on recycling plastic and preventing further microplastic and plastic pollution.

Microplastic pollution has led to the inhalation of these microparticles by animals and humans.

The excessive amount of microplastics on Earth is the result of a large gap between disposed plastics and recycled plastic, where only a few plastics are reused.

Microplastic pollution

(Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP via Getty Images)

According The New York Timesmicroplastic pollution is a growing global challenge, and microplastics can be found in our guts, in the ocean, and floating through the air.

In the United States, California would be the first American state to adopt a comprehensive strategy against microplastic pollution.

Microplastics are not only found in California’s coastal areas, but also in its waterways.

For years, multiple studies have shown that microparticles can also be inhaled by animals and humans, which can eventually reach tissues and organs.

In another study published in the journal Microplastics and Nanoplastics in September 2021, researchers found that there were approximately 24.4 trillion microplastics found in the global ocean.

However, the study claims that the exact amount of microplastics may be higher.

Additionally, in a related study published in the journal Environmental pollution in November 2021, scientists detected the presence of plastic nanoparticles found in snow in high altitude areas of the Alps mountain, indicating that plastic particles can travel long distances.

Read also : Nanoplastic particles have been detected in snowfall over the high altitude Alps

California’s new strategy

In February, the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) approved the statewide Microplastic Monitoring and Reduction Strategy.

The strategy is said to be non-regulatory, but the OPC aims to mitigate or eliminate microplastics in the state between 2022 and 2030, according to The New York Times.

The strategy would consist of 22 actions, including preventing plastics from entering the environment.

In particular, some of the main objectives of the strategy are to limit the use of single-use or single-use plastics, including plastic plates, spoons, forks and cups.

The strategy will also ban certain plastic product materials in the state. It will also force California residents to buy reusable plastics.

According to the OPC, quoted by The Guardian.

In addition, the OPC will use the microplastic cleanup strategy to raise public awareness of issues surrounding the biological and environmental impacts of microplastic pollution.

Overall, the strategy aims to prevent new plastic or microplastic pollution.

Related article: Highest award for microplastic air pollution goes to London

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