Although recycling plastic may seem like a positive step at first glance, it is not. Ultimately, plastic becomes microplastic with repeated recycling!
Microplastics, small particles of plastic less than 5 millimeters in diameter, are a growing concern for the environment and human health. They are created by the breakdown of larger plastic objects or are deliberately added to products such as cosmetics and some clothing. However, recycling plastic bottles is a source of microplastics!
The recycling process and microplastics
When recycling plastic bottles, they are often ground into small granules, known as plastic pellets. These pellets are then used in the production of new plastic products, including bottles. During this process, microplastics can be generated by friction and wear of the plastic.
In addition, external microplastics can enter the recycling system during the transportation and storage of recycled materials. This means that the recycled plastic in the bottles we use every day is contaminated with microplastics, allowing it to enter our environment unnoticed.
Limitations in practice:
In practice, recycled plastic cannot be reused indefinitely. Every time recycled plastic is recycled, the pieces become smaller and the quality decreases. Repeatedly grinding plastic will lead to the formation of microplastics, as the plastic particles become smaller and smaller. A bottle can be recycled 3 to 7 times until the plastic breaks down into microplastics
Microplastics: A Danger to the Environment and Health
The presence of microplastics in recycled plastic bottles has far-reaching consequences for the environment. These small particles can enter waterways and contaminate marine ecosystems, where they pose a threat to marine animals and their habitats. In addition, the entry of microplastics into the food chain can have unpredictable consequences for human health.
Recent research indicates that microplastics have been found in water sources, including drinking water. Although the health effects are not yet fully understood, some studies suggest that microplastics may be linked to inflammatory responses