Updated: Jun 12, 2019
Microplastics are small bits of plastic that come from broken down pieces of larger plastics and other sources. They are less than five millimeters long (about the size of a sesame seed). In 2016, there was estimated to be approximately 93,000 to 236,000 metric tons of microplastic just in the ocean.
You might think that microplastics are not a big issue, or that since we live in Maine there won't be a lot of them. In reality, though, we're surrounded by them. The picture below shows microplastic levels in Blue Hill Bay. The dark red areas are showing where the majority of microplastics are found, and the dark blue is showing the lowest levels of microplastics. This graph was created by the Marine and Environmental Research Institute (MERI).