Microplastic and outdoor sports

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    Microplastic and outdoor sports

    It is already a contradiction in terms: we nature lovers and outdoor athletes contribute to a not inconsiderable part to push back nature ever further.


    There is no doubt in science today that "nature", as we commonly understand it-that is, as an environment largely untouched by man and developing independently of human beings, more or less outside of human society, does not exist is. There is no square centimeter worldwide that has not been unaffected by human activity. Of course, this influence is inscribed on people, the handling and manipulation of the environment also makes us human beings. However, the nature of influencing nature has been so massive at the latest since industrialization, and above all with techniques that allow for a speed and scope of influence that has never been possible before. 

    But we would not be human if we did not notice the resonance of the environment in our actions. We should be reasonably gifted, we can, after a while, usually be able to make reasonable efforts. Maybe this article helps to push this step from thinking to action.

    Since the resonance of the environment for the one who has eyes for this, is obvious and also in the living environment of those ever further penetrates, which do not have so much to do with "eco", good advice is expensive. My advice: small steps. Step by step. The problems of humanity are not all solved at the same time.

    Appearance: microplastic

    Made some time ago Greenpeace What they do best: PR. Public relations on behalf of environmental protection. Target group were outdoor enthusiasts and the well-known functional jackets (wearer). The topic to be sensitized for was the PFC: perfluorinated and polyfluorinated hydrocarbons. Chemical particles that are so foreign to the environment that they can not do anything with them and store them until further notice. In the ground, in glaciers, these particles were found worldwide. Dismantling processes do not take place, the stuff stays.

    Now, some time later, the focus is on other, human-made particles: microplastics. Similar problem: the things are so small that they are now everywhere. Whether and when and in which processes they are mined, is still barely known. The main problem at present: the stuff is found in different forms, sizes and their dangerousness, just because of the above torn complexity, still little known. Speaking of which, at the moment one seems to be purely technical with a proof of plastic particles below a "cell-size" hard to do

    Schema Mikroplastik (von Anne Lehmann)
    Scheme Microplastic (by Anne Lehmann)

    Microplastic in outdoor sports

    So complexity reduction is required. Break down the problem so that it becomes manageable. We focus on plastic clothes, the typical clothes we wear in sports. Plastic pants and jackets, fleece ... When washing, especially from fleece - others call it, rightly, fiber fur - are aborted and abraded large amounts of small particles per wash cycle. These particles are flushed out, the sewage treatment plants pass unfiltered and enter the waters. What happens then is currently the subject of research. What is certain, however, is that they stay there for a very long time and are even crushed there even smaller. So over the years microplastic becomes nanoplastic.

    One thing is clear: microorganisms absorb them, and water fleas, for example, too. So the stuff then finally, via the food chain, back to us - in us - back. A beautiful feedback loop. Unfortunately, as discussed above, such a resonance first necessary in order to evoke resonance in sluggish people, ie to move us to action. What are we interested in these small, disgusting microorganisms.

    But if our kids get poisonous plastic, that's a bit disgusting and we think about it. Incidentally, bacteria and pathogens also like to accumulate on the plastic particles. Whether these micro- and nanoparticles, for example via the digestive tract, are also absorbed into the body, and what the body then does with it (or better: what the plastic does with the body) is largely unexplored. There are, however unpleasant hints.

    Schema Mikroplastik (IG stopmicrowaste)
    Scheme microplastics (IG stopmicrowaste)

    Performance: Guppyfriend

    In a Group of surfers and nature lovers from Berlin, the topic has evoked so much resonance that they have taken action and invented a simple washbag that collects most of these broken and washed-out fibers. In addition, it protects our clothes during washing, tests have shown that up to 86% less fibers from synthetic textiles in the first break. The Guppyfriend, Simple, simple, good.

    Photo sources: IG stop micro waste, Illustration of Anne Lehmann



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