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What do we know about microplastics and how can we fight them?

One of the most talked-about environmental problems in recent years is microplastics, plastic particles that measure less than 5 mm and that move through the seas and oceans of our planet. Microplastics come basically from many of the products we consume: cosmetics, clothing, cleaning products, paints, creams and detergents.

Microplastic has been known to exist for more than 20 years, as part of cleaning products, but today they are used for their exfoliating power or to give color and texture to products.

We distinguish two types of microplastics according to their origin:

  • Primary microplastics: They are those that after use reach the environment in their original format. They are usually presented in granule format, and once used they are strained down the drain, and, due to their small size, they cannot be treated in the treatment plant. For example, they can be found in exfoliating gels and toothpastes.
  • Secondary microplastics: Secondary microplastics are those that degrade or separate from other material, due to a process of deterioration or larger plastic waste. For example, secondary microplastics are those that detach from certain garments when we wash them and due to their size cannot be filtered.

Both primary and secondary microplastics have been found in the environment in high concentrations, especially in marine ecosystems. It is estimated that between 2% and 5% of all manufactured plastics end up in the oceans, and many of them do so in microplastic format.


Today’s menu, microplastics

The main impact of microplastics in humans is caused by their intake, which occurs when consuming fish and shellfish that may also have ingested or absorbed microplastics in the marine environment.

According to the UN, there are up to 51 billion microplastic particles in our seas and oceans, and they mainly reach our bodies through the food chain, although studies are showing that microplastics are also present in breath, drinks, and even water from the tap. Traces of microplastics have even been found in human feces.

Microplastics contain additives and other chemicals that can be harmful to animals, and, therefore, also to people.


Reducing microplastics in household detergents

The reduction of plastic pollution requires great involvement on the part of governments and companies. But everyone, individually, can contribute, choosing certain products for domestic use that reduce the impact on the environment.

Since its inception, Careli has been committed to minimizing the impact on the environment of its products and in 2019 launched a range of organic detergents with biodegradable and compostable packaging and that come from renewable sources, eliminating plastic. Besides, its ecological detergents are packaged in water-soluble capsules that provide:

  • Greater concentration of the product, resulting in less CO2 emissions in manufacturing, transport, and storage.
  • Exact dose of product.
  • Energy and water savings. Products formulated to be used in short cycles and low temperatures.
  • Ecological products with high efficiency.
  • Ecolabel certification.
  • Great value for money.

Flopp ECO is a range of ecological cleaning and detergent products, with ECOLABEL certificate, in a 100% biodegradable and compostable container. The range consists of five products: Flopp Suelos Universal ECO and Flopp ECO Suelos PH NeutroFlopp Ropa ECOFlopp Ropa Bebé ECO, and Flopp ECO Lavavajillas.


At an individual level, we also recommend following the measures recommended by the following organizations:

To reduce the impact of microplastics, at the individual level, you can follow the recommendations made by organizations such as the UN or Greenpeace, such as the following:

  1. Change plastic bags for reusable ones, carts, or baskets. Keep some reusable bags at home, at work, and in your purse. Also remember to take smaller reusable bags for fruits and vegetables with you.
  2. Buy your food in bulkand avoid excess packaging, such as trays. It is cheaper, it allows you to choose the quantity you need and also the quality will be better.
  3. Change plastic lunch boxes for ones made of stainless steel or glass. Storing and/or heating food in lifelong plastic containers can be poisoning you, as heating the plastic releases toxic substances.
  4. Avoid using cosmetics that have plastic microspheres(polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and/or nylon) in their composition. They are normally found in exfoliating products. Instead, choose plastics with natural components like clay, nutshells, or seeds.
  5. Choose containers for your drinks and liquids that are returnable, such as glass, instead of tetra briks or plastic bottles.
  6. Reduce your baby’s exposure to plastic, and do not use plastic bottles.
  7. Look for toys made of wood, cloth, or latex and natural rubber.
  8. Do not use disposable razors. Replace them with an electric or metal razor with replaceable blades.
  9. Try to get hygiene and personal care products that are not packaged in plastics and that do not contain microplastics in their composition. For example, using soap bars instead of shower gel or shaving bar soap instead of foam. Make them natural and healthier. There are also electric or wooden toothbrushes and toothpaste in tablets.
  10. Avoid cleaning products packed in plastic.
  11. Avoid balloonsat parties and celebrations.
  12. Use a non-plastic reusable cup for your coffee or tea.
  13. Use ecological detergents without plastic packaging, scouring pads made of natural fiber, and less aggressive cleaning products. You can find our ecological cleaning products for your home in our web store.
  14. If it is impossible to further reduce your plastic consumption, remember to reuse these products as much as possible and, in the latter case, throw them in the corresponding container.

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