Microplastics are not new to our world and our oceans, but as climate change and other environmental concerns become more pressing, they have undoubtedly become a focus as of late. A lot of microplastic pollution comes from the breakdown of larger plastic products, like bottles and packaging, but manufacturers also intentionally add their own. For decades, microplastics have been added to everyday products like laundry detergent, toothpaste, chemicals, paints and more—amounting to an estimated 50,000 tons a year in the European Union alone. In fact, the EU has declared that these intentionally added microplastics—which comprise 10 to 15 percent of the total amount—must be eliminated by 2025.

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