Giving Compass' Take:

• Natalie Quathamer explains how microplastics are infiltrating our food systems and affect our soil quality and compromise the quality and quantity of food production.

• How can donors and organizations drive action against microplastics? How can we reduce or eliminate microplastics?

• Here's an article on a new law that would ban 90% of microplastics across Europe.

Daily worldwide production tops over a thousand tonnes and it’s ubiquitous in our lives from water bottles to grocery bags. But many scientists, including the World Health Organization, are questioning its impact on humans, as they find oceans, farmers’ fields, and food products drowning in tiny plastic particles called microplastics.

Despite plastic’s omnipresence, governing bodies mismanage its disposal, as Esther Garrido-Gamarro of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) explains to Food Tank. “Between 1950 and 2015 only 9 percent of plastics were recycled, 12 percent incinerated, and the remaining 79 percent stored in landfills or released directly into the environment.”

Instead of biodegrading, plastic persists for hundreds, even thousands of years, breaking down into particles as tiny as the flu virus. And it isn’t just the physical fragments that can cause harm; toxins added during manufacturing and organic pollutants gathered during air and water travel also accumulate in ecosystems.

Read the full article on microplastics in our food system by Natalie Quathamer at Food Tank.