Earthworms Affected by Harmful Micro– plastics


Researchers at the Anglia Ruskin University, UK, recently demonstrated that the deteriorating conditions of the soil due to the presence of microplastics is affecting the health of earthworms. Micro-plastics are small plastic fragments that measure less than 5mm in length. Earthworms ingest dead organic matter and improve soil structure, drainage, quality and nutrient availability. However, the presence of micro-plastics in soil has restricted earthworms’ growth and caused them to lose weight. A study shows that earthworms exposed to micro-plastics lost an average of 3.1% weight as compared to earthworms living in normal soil conditions, who witnessed a 5.1% increase in weight. Earthworms reduced their burrowing activity in the presence of harmful pollutants in agricultural soil and this led to a drop in the quality of soil, which can affect crops in the future.

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