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GNN NetworkTechnical Tuesday

Micro-plastics polluting our oceans

By August 4, 2015No Comments

At Keep Prince William Beautiful our goal is to educate individuals on being good stewards of the environment. We advise residents on the benefits of recycling and the deleterious effect litter has on our environment.

With the booming advocacy on recycling it has evidently caused a huge improvement on the overall quality of our environment.  Communities have mandated the use of recycling bins in neighborhoods to promote a clean and sustainable environment and furthermore decrease the amount of litter.

In an article recently published by the United Nations stated that our personal care products containing micro-plastic that make their way into our waterways and pollute our oceans.  The microplastics are too small to be filtered out through screens and don’t decompose which causes a huge treat to our aquatic ecosystem. Micor-plastics or micro- beads are present in our personal care products ranging from toothpastes, shower gels, eye shadow and nail polish.

For the last 50 years micro-plastics have been used in personal care products and cosmetics. The alarming statistic provided from this source suggests that, in a typical shower gel there is as much plastic material in the gel itself as in its packaging.  So more that 4,300 tons of micro plastics are being dumped down the shower drain.

The good news is that people are aware of this problem and have taken action on mitigating the effect.  Illinois is the first state to enact legislation banning products containing micro-beads and certain European countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, and Austria have issues a joint call to ban micro-plastics in personal care products.