The ocean is not only the natural resources bothered by the dangers brought about by microplastics but there are many red wigglers for sale just because of that. Recent studies found out that microplastics in the soil also threatened the worms, too. As we all know, worms play an important role in recycling organic waste and soil construction. This is only one of the benefits of worms for gardening.
Farmers consider worms as “ecosystem engineers” because they keep the soil healthy. Unfortunately, with plastics preventing worm’s healthy growth, they would certainly affect the future of agriculture. Read on this article and learn about the impact of microplastics on worms.
What are microplastics?
Microplastics are a tiny bit of plastics with less than 5mm in size. It came from a variety of sources such as containers, bags, bottles, and other large debris that break down into smaller and smaller pieces. Glitters are considered microplastics, too. Some plastics are also too small that you can’t even see it with your naked eyes. These are specifically referred to as nanoplastics.
How microplastics affect the worms?
Scientists say that when there are plastics in our aquatic resources, shellfish and fish will certainly eat them. The same goes for soil. When there are microplastics in soil, earthworms will likely eat them. Once microplastics get into the soil, it will damage the soil porosity, and thus affect soil aggregation and dynamics.
A new study from Anglia Ruskin University found out that microplastics make earthworm lose weight. As a result, the soil is also greatly affected and became unproductive. If this practice continues, sure the future of our agriculture would be compromised
Plastic pollution has been going for so long; yet, there are no enough actions done to combat this concern. In fact, even our very own farmers unknowingly damage the ecosystem. How? When farmers want to increase their crop yield, some of them utilizes irrigation and plastic mulches. In this way, they are harming worms, the soil, and the entire ecosystem.
Is there something being done to prevent plastic pollution
Plastic pollution is one of the greatest concerns of the world. With seemingly endless plastic production, poor waste management, less recycling, there’s no doubt that there would come a day where the entire planet is covered by plastics.
Don’t be scared, though. Though scientists reveal about being clueless about how microplastics causes the worm to lose weight, at least, many environmentalists are doing their part to address the concern.
Across the world, some cafes and restaurants replaced their plastic straws to paper straws. In most countries, on the other hand, laws have been implemented banning single-use plastics.
Land-based pollution caused by microplastics is underestimated. In fact, more research has been extensively done in aquatic environments than on soils. This fact should not upset you though. While there’s scarcity in research to address the situation, it is not the end of the world. We should not rely on scientists alone. We can do our own little way to protect the soil and saving the environment as a whole.