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Publication The Conversation

par Zouhair Ait Benhamou - publié le

One of the environmental legacies of Covid-19 may well be vast amounts of plastic pollution. Since the beginning of the pandemic, scientists have warned of the long-term threat of littering face masks and other PPE into the environment.

Martin Henseler, Elke Brandes, Peter Kreins
One of the environmental legacies of Covid-19 may well be vast amounts of plastic pollution. Since the beginning of the pandemic, scientists have warned of the long-term threat of littering face masks and other PPE into the environment.
These large plastic items break down into microplastics, which wash into our waterways and agricultural land. Microplastics are commonly defined as solid plastic particles or synthetic fibres of the size between 1 and 5000µm, or micrometres.
The problem is of course much bigger than face masks : industrial and private activities release microplastic into the environment in different ways, where they negatively impact ecosystems. Microplastics are found in many ecosystems and even ingested by many species.
Microplastic pollution is best known as a pollutant in oceans, lakes and rivers. But microplastics also have an impact on land : they can break down the structure of soil and harm the creatures that live there, for example when it is ingested by earth worms.

Voir en ligne : Microplastics aren’t just a problem for the ocean – they’re in our soils too