Microplastics contaminate the whole planet, from Arctic ice to Mount Everest. The tiny particles, less than 5 millimeters in diameter, are in the air we breathe, and have been found in human placenta, blood and lungs.
Scientists estimate that there are at least 14 million metric tons of microplastics on the ocean floor, and while all kinds of plastic debris are considered bad for the environment, these ones are especially hard to detect and remove because of their minuscule size.
Image: Microplastics lumped together with a silica gel are sieved off from a tank of water. - Courtesy Wasser 3.0 gGmbH