Photo: blogs.ifas.ufl.edu / Pinterest
Microplastics are tiny particles of plastic, which are degraded due to sunlight, heat radiation, oxidation, and biofilm from sunlight which causes their size to become smaller. This degradation process occurs faster in the sea because of its tiny size, and it will easily enter into marine organisms, one of which is zooplankton. Microplastics can enter indirectly because zooplankton looks for food with a system filter-feeding or filter food nearby.
Zooplankton has an important role in marine ecosystems because as food for small marine biotas such as shrimp and small fish. So it is very likely that microplastics will move into the food chain. It can even enter the human body by consuming marine animals that have been contaminated with microplastics. There have even been several cases that prove the existence of microplastics in the human body.
One of the actions we can take is to participate in beach clean-up activities, control the use of plastic in daily life, and support government policies to reduce plastic waste.
Source: Mardiyana, M., & Kristiningsih, A. (2020). Dampak Pencemaran Mikroplastik di Ekosistem Laut terhadap Zooplankton. Jurnal Pengendalian Pencemaran Lingkungan (JPPL), 2(1), 29-36.