A Swedish company called Blueair is selling its air-purification products with the slogan, “breathe plastic-free air”. According to a study published in the journal Environmental Pollution humans inhale significant amounts of microplastics daily, including those which waft from nearby textiles such as polyester bags, carpets, and sweatshirts among other sources. Microplastics are characterized as plastic particles less than five millimeters, which Blueair claims are captured by their filtration systems alongside other more well-known pollutants.
A growing body of research is revealing how ubiquitous microplastics are in our environments, and newer research sheds light on how it enters our bodies via food, water and air. What remains to be seen, is what impacts plastics in our bodies have on our health. Is there a concentration threshold at which it becomes dangerous, and how do we manage such a problem?
This air-purification company is capitalizing on current and growing knowledge of microplastic ubiquity to sell its products, but will this type of private sector marketing have broader effects? With the help of marketing campaigns like Blueair’s, will the fear of nefarious invisible particles in and around our bodies drive plastic bans and behaviour change more quickly? And, if Blueair’s campaign proves successful, will other companies seek similar marketing angle, further driving awareness of environmental plastics?