Just when we thought that plastics have infiltrated every part of terrestrial Earth, they are now up in our skies. Unfortunately, plastic rain is the new acid rain, as microplastics have been found in our clouds.
Researchers in Japan recently found several types of polymers and rubber in the cloud water surrounding Mount Fuji, Japan’s biggest mountain, and Mount Ōyama. Scientists applied advanced imaging techniques to determine whether microplastics were present and found an abundance of hydrophilic (or water-loving) polymers, which suggests they play a role in rapid cloud formation, which can affect overall climate.
According to the researchers, airborne microplastics degrade much faster in the upper atmosphere due to strong ultraviolet radiation, which then releases greenhouse gases that we now know contribute to global warming.
Microplastics have become a huge health challenge over the years with fragments of “sesame seed size” plastic being found in many parts of the human body, such as our lungs, blood, and in the placentas of pregnant women. Absorbed, ingested, or inhaled, microplastics can accumulate in the body and cause a negative immune response as well as cause toxicity.
However, thanks to our .earth web domain tribe, there is hope when it comes to tackling plastic pollution. As we have highlighted before, there are a number of .earth web domain users working with issue head-on:
- Tide.Earth: This Swiss company is turning plastic collected from the ocean and coastlines into safe, useful products. Learn more here.
- SecondLife.Earth: This organization helps companies to kick-start their own circular plastic development supply chains to clean our oceans. Learn more here.
- PlasticFootprint.Earth: This organization has developed a methodology that measures plastic leakage to put an end to plastic pollution. Learn more here.
- Vuma.Earth: This organization has created a campaign to ban single-use plastics in South Africa. Learn more here.
- Mandin.Earth: This collective of friends, artists and designers have created skateboard decks made of recycled plastic. Learn more here, and check out our 2020 podcast with Mandin.Earth here.
Is your company or organization working to counteract the consequences of microplastics on and above our planet? The .earth web domain is ideal for enhancing your brands and communicating your mission of using innovation to fight climate change.
To learn more about the .earth domain, visit Voices.Earth. In addition, many organizations and individuals are sharing their voices about the benefits of a .earth domain in our Voices.Earth podcast series.