96% of our planet is water and it is in seas and oceans. In its immensity and its mystery hundreds of fantastic stories were forged about hidden monsters that, centuries ago, tormented and intimidated navigators and travellers.
Of course, as science was occupying an important place in knowledge, those fables were being buried and forgotten.
That is why it is paradoxical that the science that took from our lives the fear that a monster will devour us is the same that today informs us that in the oceans there is a lurking enemy that is neither big nor monstrous but tiny, almost imperceptible.
This threat is seriously affecting health, life and the environment: they are microplastics. These are small particles of less than five millimeters in diameter, which were shelled from their different source materials and, when not detected and extracted by the effluent filtration systems, ended up inhabiting rivers, lakes and marine ecosystems.
Most come from polyethylene, polypropylene or the well-known PET, that material with which almost all the packaging we consume is manufactured. It can be found in the most diverse products: soap, shower gel, a sunscreen or even some toothpastes.
For at least four decades, microplastics have been accumulating in the sea. With their shape and colors they can disorient fish, turtles, birds or marine mammals that confuse them with food.
According to a study there are at least 4 billion fragments of microplastic per square kilometer of beaches, corals and marine surfaces. This product represents today a real time bomb for life in the oceans. And it is necessary to deactivate it.
To achieve this, we need firm and committed States that are attentive to the production, consumption, and disposal of these materials.
Responsible consumers are also needed who understand that comfort or personal hygiene can not be above the health and life of the planet and millions of animals.
Source: Contexto tucuman