Microplastics in the soil point to another potential ecosystem collapse. When these particles are eaten by Earthworms, the results are not good reports a research team from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England.
New research from the University states that microplastics in soil are causing earthworms to lose weight.
Soil affected by microplastics produces less crop yield due to less productive earthworms and lower pH levels.
If this trend continues, our entire agricultural system could be compromised.
In the last installment of “How Plastic is Destroying Us,” we discussed the billions of microplastic particles being leeched from tea bags into your mug. It turns out such particles are turning up in the darnedest places. A new study, published in Environmental Science & Technology, reveals another unfortunate locale: the digestive tract of earthworms.
Outside of fishing and post-rainy day sidewalks, most of us pay little attention to endogeic worms, the class of worms that live in the top soil. That doesn’t mean they lack importance for our survival. By feeding on soil, these wiggly critters—Aporrectodea rosea, rosy-tipped earthworms—mix minerals and air into the soil, which helps, among other things, plants to sprout. Worms are an essential component of our agricultural system.