What Are Microplastics, And Types


Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastics (less than 5 mm) that pollute the environment. Microplastics are not a specific group of plastics; it is any plastic piece that is not more than 5 mm in length. Microplastics are classified as those plastic fragments that are less than 5.0 micron or those who are less than that size.

The word Microplastic introduced around the mid-2000s and identified as plastic pollution occurred in the environment. Million tons of plastic pollutants are recovered from oceans, rivers, and fragmented through the motion of waves and sunlight. Water life organisms like fish, crabs, and other sea animals consume these Microplastics by identification. Further, these foods are consumed by the human that leads to severe health hazards.

Primary Microplastics – primary Microplastics are small plastics, cosmetics, cleansers, drugs, heavy metals which has extended degradation cycle.

Primary Microplastics that enter the environment directly through human activities are tiny particles manufactured for profitable use, as well as microfibers are residues from clothing and other textile industries, such as fishing nets and carry bags.

Examples of primary Microplastics include chemicals found in personal care products, plastic pills used in medicine manufacturing, and plastic fibers used in the textile industry.

Secondary Microplastics – small pieces of plastics debris present in land and seas. This debris is further fragmented into smaller parts around 1.6 mm in uneven shapes. Secondary Microplastics are a form of breakdown of larger plastics such as water bottles, food packages. They typically form when larger plastics undergo fragmentation, through exposure to situations like wave act, wind abrasion, and majorly from ultraviolet radiation from sunlight.

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Example of secondary Microplastics are packaged drinks, including water or packaged food containers. There are some residues of trapping nets, clothes, and broken personal appliances.

Studies Around Microplastics

Microplastic contribute to over three fourth of ocean pollutants and significantly increased by the time. You can see these pollutants on the surface of the ocean, rivers, and other water bodies. Microplastic has now become a global problem along with the increasing population in coastal areas. The surging human activity can lead to worst the situation, and most of the countries are involved in its studies. Microplastics are not only present in the aquatic life as it will make the soil infertile over time.

The Types Of Microtreatment Treatment Technologies

Majorly biological treatments are used in natural degradation with the help of microbes and bacteria. They transform micropollutants through the absorption of soluble, residues from the wastewater, into simpler forms like biomass, CO2, and nitrogen. Activated sludge can be broken down into carbon and energy. So, biological treatments can be the most significant contributor to Microplastics degradation and contributing to pollution control.

  • Absorption- it is a surface phenomenon by which you can attach adsorbent solid using different processes either by physical or chemical.
  • Activated carbon- majorly used in the absorption of micropollutants and water pollution. The granular material is used in a powder form in an activated carbon bed.
  • Nanofiltration- is used to separate suspended compounds from the water and make it clean. Microfiltration is basically used in water softening and large scale water purification.
  • Reverse osmosis- RO filters are also applied in microfiltration as the compounds get separated according to the particle size. It is also effective in mineral addition and removal on a large scale.

The Last Words About Microfiltration

Micropollutants are anthropogenic chemicals found in water bodies due to human activities. The occurrence of Micropollutants is in a low affair, but they have carried a lot of synthetic chemicals, halogenated molecules and industry residues. These pollutants are generally a waste material involved in human activities. The only way to stop the water and soil pollution by minimizing the use of one-time plastic and use dustbins in case of disposal.

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