Microplastics are a serious environmental problem.  They are caused by the embrittlement and erosion of conventional plastic, and these fragments can lie or float around for decades.

As part of the definition of microplastics,  the general characteristics of plastics need to be described.   Micro refers to the small size of the plastic particles. the size boundaries are therefore a crucial element of the microplastic definition.

The five major properties of microplastics are:

1.Chemical composition (synthetic materials with a high polymer content)

2. Physical State (Solid particles)

3. Particle size (less than 5mm at their longest)

4. Solubility in water (insoluble in water)

5. Degradability (not degradable)

 

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