Microplastic Waste, Mini Monster Threatens Marine Ecosystem

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microplastic
Ilustration. Photo: pixabay

Jakarta (Greeners) – Marine plastic waste is a serious global issue, including Indonesia, as it has affected the ecosystem to the smallest size or micro. The microplastic waste has entered the food chain and causing impacts on human health and environment.

“Plastic can serve as a medium for other toxins. Consequently, these toxins entered higher organism rather than floating in the water as they’re hard to dissolve. Even when plastics dissolve, they can go enter the body and this process will continue through next generation,” said M Rexa Cordova, a marine researcher of Oceanography Research Center, in Jakarta, on Tuesday (20/2).

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Furthermore, Cordova said that Indonesia’s coastal areas such as Aceh, Riau islands, Jakarta, West Java and East Java and eastern parts such as Bali, Southeast Sulawesi, North Sulawesi and Maluku contain marine microplastic between 30 to 960 particles per liter.

“It can be that plastic waste we throw turns into our food. Fishes can contain microplastic as they cannot differentiate between plastic and planktons,” he said.

As a researcher on microplastic issues for human and environment, he said that there was lack of researches. Nevertheless, he cited Jenna Jambeck’s research that Indonesia ranked second as the biggest marine plastic waste in the world needed to be verified.

“Based on the assumption of Ministry of Environment and Forestry, people produce 0.8 kilograms of waste per person or 189,000 tons per day. However, Indonesia has no specific and consistent data on marine waste,” he said.

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Furthermore, Cordova, who presented a research titled “Mini Monster in Our Ocean : Microplastic Waste Threats to Marine Ecosystem”, said that plastic waste was the largest portion either in lands or oceans, which he suggested three things about the issue.

“First, pollution in Indonesia and the world is piling up, at least we can reduce plastic use. Second, avoid the use of cosmetics with microbeads or microplastic. Third, don’t litter as the wastes could return to our body,” he said.

Reports by Dewi Purningsih

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