Green & Eco-Friendly Facts

Microplastics.... the bottom line.

by Kay Baker on Jun 16, 2022

Microplastics.... the bottom line.


Plastic is not biodegradable.  It breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces over time via solar UV radiation (1), called microplastics. Microplastics are plastic fragments less than 5 millimeters across.  They have been found everywhere you can imagine- in fresh Artic and Antarctic snow, in the bellies of marine animals, drinking water, beer, in the depths of the oceans, in the air, and falling with rainwater.  A very recent study even found PET plastic (that’s the plastic most used in food packaging) in the blood of its human participants (2).  Yikes! It is estimated a human ingests a credit card size of plastic each year (3).  

 Many of us have seen how dangerous larger plastic items can be to marine life and the devastating photos of marine mammals.  What about microplastics and marine life?  One study examined 102 sea turtles from 7 species across and found all of them had ingested microplastics (4).   Zooplankton are an important step in the food chain and includes microscopic as well as larger animals like jellyfish. Zooplankton is an animal that doesn’t stand in the spotlight but is critical to the health of marine ecosystem.  When it is affected, this will work its way up the food chain to humans.  In the presence of microplastics, zooplankton eggs are less likely to hatch, and they grow more slowly (5).  It has been reported that feeding behavior and therefore growth and development were negatively affected by exposure to microplastics (5). 

What about human health and microplastics?  We can confidently say all humans have regular exposure to microplastics, but the effect on human health requires more research.   Studies on mice found inflammation in the gut, low sperm count, and smaller pups when ingesting microplastics (6, 7, 8).   

Researchers question if the current amount of microplastic exposure may not be enough to cause major widespread health problems in humans, but the time to act is now.  Plastic waste is expected to increase significantly (9).  Reducing single use plastic is the easiest way to start the shift from our plastic dependence.   

If you would like help reducing your plastic waste, Green Llama makes plastic free, zero waste surface cleaners. We selected eco-friendly ingredients, referencing the Environmental Working Groups database and the EPA's safer choice ingredients list. Using means Green Llama means a simple alternative and no more worrying about recycling. Use MICROPLASTICFREE for a 20% discount. 


  1. Zhang, Kai, et al. "Understanding plastic degradation and microplastic formation in the environment: A review." Environmental Pollution 274 (2021): 116554. 
  2. Leslie, Heather A., et al. "Discovery and quantification of plastic particle pollution in human blood." Environment international 163 (2022): 107199. 
  3. Senathirajah, Kala, et al. "Estimation of the mass of microplastics ingested–A pivotal first step towards human health risk assessment." Journal of Hazardous Materials 404 (2021): 124004. 
  4. Duncan, Emily M., et al. "Microplastic ingestion ubiquitous in marine turtles." Global change biology 25.2 (2019): 744-752. 
  5. Botterell, Zara LR, et al. "Bioavailability and effects of microplastics on marine zooplankton: A review." Environmental Pollution 245 (2019): 98-110. 
  6. Li, Boqing, et al. "Polyethylene microplastics affect the distribution of gut microbiota and inflammation development in mice." Chemosphere 244 (2020): 125492 
  7. Jin, Haibo, et al. "Polystyrene microplastics induced male reproductive toxicity in mice." Journal of hazardous materials401 (2021): 123430. 
  8. Park, Eun-Jung, et al. "Repeated-oral dose toxicity of polyethylene microplastics and the possible implications on reproduction and development of the next generation." Toxicology letters 324 (2020): 75-85. 
  9. Lau, Winnie WY, et al. "Evaluating scenarios toward zero plastic pollution." Science 369.6510 (2020): 1455-1461. 


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