Tsunami of plastic waste ahead of us if nothing changes

Every year 14 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean. All that plastic degrades into tiny particles – microplastics – that last forever, accumulate in the nature and cause a serious threat to ecosystems and human health.

Currently, we ingest an amount of a credit card of microplastics a week. Microplastics run through our veins and invade our hearts. They have been discovered in the highest peaks and the deepest seas. With an expected  300% growth in plastic production by 2050, the amount of microplastics in our environment is only escalating.

The only way to stop microplastic pollution is to replace conventional plastic with bio-based and biodegradable materials, that leave no permanent microplastics behind during any stage of the product life cycle.

Microplastics – where do they come from?

All conventional plastic that ends up in the environment eventually becomes microplastic. Plastic ends up in the environment through several routes: Wind carries plastic items from landfills to rivers and the rain flushes trash to the sea. Microplastics get into the wastewater when we wash our clothes and they are formed when plastic items like car tires, plastic bags and packaging wear and tear. Often times plastic ends up in the wrong place due to people’s indifference: the recycling bin is too far away or there is none.

Even the plastic recycling process is a source of permanent microplastics.

Further reading on the sources of microplastic

From the deepest seas to the highest peaks

Microplastics have already contaminated our entire planet. Eventually they become so fine that wind can carry them. Consequently, microplastics have been found in freshly fallen Antarctic snowsea ice and surface water. They have found their way in the high-altitudes of Mount Everest and Himalayas. They have even been discovered at the deepest point of ocean.

Microplastics have been, in fact, compared to air pollutants like freons (CFCs). They are widespread and invisible, and they have significant and detrimental impacts on the environment and human health. They are so called silent killers.

Like air pollution, that also includes plastic particles, microplastics are almost impossible to clean up once they are released in the environment. They just keep accumulating, causing a bigger and bigger threat to our ecosystem and health every day.


Further reading on microplastics in the environment

Effects on ecosystems and wildlife

Microplastics don’t biodegrade, so they start to circulate in the soil, air and oceans. Given their large surface area, they can sorb various pollutants, including heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants, with serious implications for animals and human wellbeing.

Microplastics have been found to disrupt reproductive systems, cause tissue inflammation and alter feeding behavior in fish and other marine life. Microplastics that are ingested can block the gastrointestinal tract of small animals and can also cause physical damage internally. Furthermore, when ingested they can lead to a false feeling of satiety.

Further reading on how microplastics affect ecosystems and wildlife

Microplastics in human body

We don’t yet know all the harmful effects of microplastics, but according to the studies  we should be concerned. For example, microplastics cause damage to human cells and several studies have linked microplastics to human autoimmune diseases and cancer. A resent study suggests that nanoplastics may be a contributing factor to the development of Parkinson’s disease.

Further reading about microplastics in human body

Eliminating microplastic pollution with sustainable substitutes for conventional plastic

The purpose of Sulapac materials is to reduce plastic pollution by offering a sustainable alternative to conventional plastic. Sulapac materials are made of responsibly sourced plant-based and biodegradable binders, and sustainable fillers like wood from industrial side streams or naturally occurring clay minerals.

All Sulapac materials can be digested by naturally occurring microorganisms. They biodegrade into CO2, water, and biomass  in a similar time frame as certain tree leaves, and leave no permanent microplastics or toxic residues behind.

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Get to know our innovation; beautiful, functional and truly sustainable materials designed to tackle the microplastic problem.

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Replace conventional plastic with the beautiful, functional and sustainable Sulapac material. We will help you to make the switch smoothly.

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