What Are Microplastics and Why Are They Harmful?

Microplastics are harmful to the environment and hazardous to health. Find out how to avoid them with Takeaway Packaging.

Plastic causes a lot of problems. It’s a major pollutant of the world’s oceans, it doesn’t degrade for hundreds of years and it’s pretty much everywhere you look. One of the key dangers of plastics is microplastics. So what are they, where do they come from and how can you avoid them?

What Are Microplastics?

Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic debris no longer than 5 millimetres in length. Since they’re microscopic, they’re hard to see, making them a dangerous pollutant. Their tiny size makes them incredibly hazardous to all forms of life, from marine animals to humans, as they’re often unwittingly and unintentionally ingested. This can cause a myriad of potentially fatal internal problems.

Where Do Microplastics Come From?

Much of the plastic in the world doesn’t start so small. When larger plastic products degrade, they break down into minuscule pieces. As these pieces get smaller and smaller, they remain as potent as they were at their original size. That means all manner of plastic bottles, takeaway containers and other plastic receptacles are destined for the same fate if they aren’t recycled or disposed of properly. 

Are Microplastics Dangerous?

Plastics can be extremely hazardous, but microplastics have the potential to cause significantly more harm to the environment and our health:

– Microplastics Kill Marine Animals — When accidentally ingested by aquatic creatures, such as fish, turtles and seabirds, microplastics wreak havoc on their digestive systems. The tiny plastic particles clog their digestive tracts, diminish their urge to eat, alter feeding behaviour and eventually cause starvation, leading many marine animals to a sad and untimely end.

– Microplastics Absorb Harmful Chemicals— Studies have revealed that microplastics absorb toxic chemicals, which makes them doubly detrimental to our health. The harmful bacteria carried by these plastic particles could cause infections or lead to other illnesses, as well as the harm the plastic itself can have.

– Microplastics Could Be In Your Food — Our recent blog post about the dangers of phthalates highlighted issues surrounding reheating food products in plastic containers. Here, microplastics leach into your food and can enter the body, leading to several highly concerning health issues.

Since the dangers of microplastics are so widespread, businesses and consumers must find ways to avoid the use of plastics in everyday products like food and drinks packaging. So how can it be done?

How Can You Avoid Microplastics?

One of the easiest ways to avoid microplastics and mitigate their effects on the environment is to stop using single-use plastic products. Plastic takeaway food and drinks packaging dominate ocean plastic, making it all the more important for businesses offering takeaways to alter their packaging strategies to help protect their customers and the planet.

Doing away with plastic bags, bottles and food containers should be a priority, as these are the most littered items to end up in the world’s oceans. Fortunately, there are some awesome plastic-free packaging alternatives available:

Biodegradable Drinks Packaging — From eco-friendly coffee cups to bioplastic drinks containers, you can easily mitigate non-recyclable plastic waste with our sustainable packaging alternatives for drinks products.

Sustainable Hot Food Containers — You don’t need plastics to protect your takeaway products. Our Kraftware collection is water-resistant, greaseproof and guaranteed to keep your hot and cold food products fresh. They’ll also help your customers stay far away from all forms of microplastics.

Paper Bags and Food Carriers — Made from renewable, responsibly sourced materials that degrade naturally in a short time, our stylish paper bags and plastic-free food carriers make a great substitute for plastic packaging.

Plastic-Free Packaging for a Healthier Planet

Moving to eco-friendly packaging doesn’t mean you need to compromise on quality. All of our super-sustainable takeaway packaging products are made from naturally durable materials like a virgin, unbleached Kraft board, bagasse and even avocado seeds. Not only are they up to the task of delivering eco-friendly meals to your valued customers, but they also help preserve the planet’s resources and mitigate plastic waste, reducing the prevalence of dangerous microplastics.

Say goodbye to microplastics and hello to a healthier packaging solution for your customers and the planet. Check out our online shop and discover our huge range of eco-friendly packaging solutions today.