SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — We often talk about plastics, but microplastics are just as important to discuss. They are, after all, a byproduct of the plastics we use every day, and Laurie Davis, with the Springfield Environmental Services, says they are everywhere!
Microplastics are plastics broken down to a microscopic level. Davis explains that things made out of natural materials like paper, when they get out into the environment, they’re going to biodegrade. However, plastics are chemically produced, so they don’t biodegrade; they do something called photodegrade.
“As they encounter the sun’s rays, they start to just break down into smaller and smaller pieces, but there are no micro or macro-organisms to break those down even further,” Davis said.
Those tiny little pieces of plastic end up in our waterways, air and soil. And, ultimately, into our food sources.
Springfield Environmental Services is hosting a movie week as part of its EnviroFlick program so citizens can learn more about how microplastics impact our lives.
You can sign up here to get a link to watch Microplastic Madness virtually from Nov. 10 – 17.
“The movie presents the perspective of a group of students in New York and the two years they spent learning about the impact of plastics and their environment,” said Davis. “And even though it takes place in a different location, the content applies perfectly to our area.”
Following that week, you can join the Springfield Environmental Services and other area citizens for an online community conversation about the role of plastics in your community.
That will be on Nov. 18 from 7-8 p.m.