I cannot wait to get my hands on this new land: said another microbe.
As the gushing wastewater came in, the operator and the engineers, usually dull expressed during their daily mundane task, are excited today. Along with standing microbiologists, they are here to observe the new process they are trying to test at the field level.This new process called “CLAMP” Catch Lump of All Microbial biofilm & microplastic aims to capture the microplastic released by human activity during the wastewater treatment with the help of microbial biofilms before it reaches local rivers. This invention could pave the way for sustainably lowering plastic pollution levels in the long run by simply using something found in nature.
OK. The above process may still be fictitious but based on the laboratory work of Liu and colleagues ; it might soon become a reality. What is microplastic, and why does it need our attention?
Microplastics are plastic fragments, usually smaller than 5mm, that are extremely difficult to treat. Microplastic is released into the environment during the production and breakdown of plastic materials such as grocery bags, plastic bottles, toys – or during everyday activities such as washing nylon or plastic-based polymer made clothes or using personal care products with microbeads.
Although microplastics are small in size, the risk they pose to the environment is huge. They are not readily biodegradable and hence can persist in the environment for an extended period. When in the environment, microplastic absorbs toxic chemicals such as pesticides, drug residue, heavy metal, etc., due to their high absorbent capacity and surface area. It leads to bioaccumulation of chemical toxicity in humans and other organisms in the ecosystem after prolonged consumption of such microplastic. Such microplastic also disperses in various water systems, including oceans, through wastewater, endangering marine animals who eat them and eventually enter the food chain.