#BanTheBead: a Microplastics Crash Course
Posted on: April 5, 2016

Microplastics: they’re the buzzword of freshwater and oceanic environmental issues.

Heard of ’em? Then you know how bad they are.

No clue? Here’s a hint: you’re probably using them at least once a day. You’re polluting, and you don’t even know it.

Here are the headlines:

    • Microbeads are tiny, spherical plastic particles ranging in size from an invisible 1 micrometer to 5 millimeters and are a subcategory of microplastics pollution.
    • They’re manufactured and added to cosmetics, face washes, toothpastes, deodorants, hair coloring, shaving creams and sunscreens.
    • They’re washed off the body, down drains, and wind up in waterways. They’re too small for sewage treatment plants to catch.
    • Once in the waterway, wildlife ingest them as food. It goes back up the food chain if we ingest the animals.
    • Avoid products which have polyethylene and polypropylene. These are the worst offenders. For example, these products are known to have microbeads:Microbead-products_2

The IJC has a four-part series of comprehensive articles on microplastics. Here are the links:

No time to read? This stunning 4 and a half minute video will give you the gist.

Nipigon Bay, ON, is seeing residual microplastics wash up from a train derailment eight years ago. On May 3rd, we will be hosting a public meeting at Lake Helen (15 min from Nipigon) to discuss this microplastics problem in our own backyard. Join us – more details to come!

Every Tuesday, we focus on Superior Environment stories. This article is part of a month-long focus on microplastics and their impact.

 

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