Video Friday: Take Action on Plastic Microbeads

plastic microbeedsI hope those concerned with good corporate governance are also concerned with stewardship. Investors shouldn’t be making money by investing in products that harm the environment. Their are plenty of alternatives to plastic microbeads.

This 2-minute video “explainer” shows how tiny plastic microbeads go down the drain and into our rivers, lakes, and oceans. We can do to stop this ridiculous assault on our public waters.  TAKE ACTION!

Scientists are investigating a surprising new pollutant in the country’s waterways: the tiny plastic beads found in common cosmetic products. Illinois has become the first state to ban these synthetic microbeads. Brandis Friedman of WTTW Chicago reports on the potential hazards.

What are plastic microbeads? 

Microbeads are really tiny plastic particles usually smaller than two millimeters.  The composition of microbeads can vary and often include polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polymethlyl methacrylate (PMMA) or nylon. Bottom line, it’s all plastic!

What products contain plastic microbeads?

Plastic microbeads are in face soaps, body washes, and even toothpastes. They are sometimes included in “age-defying” makeup (yes, filling in wrinkles with plastic dust!), as well as lip gloss and nail polish. Most wastewater treatment doesn’t filter out microbeads, and they get discharged into waterways. As a result, micro-plastic particles are found in bays, gulfs and seas worldwide, as well as inland waterways.

How does plastic microbead pollution impact us?

Could the plastic you’re washing your face with end up in your sushi? You can bet on it. Fish species that humans harvest for food have been known to eat micro-plastic particles at an alarming rate and the toxins absorbed in those plastics transfer to the fish tissue. microbeads infographic

Plastic microbeads absorb persistent organic pollutants (long-lasting toxic chemicals like pesticides, flame retardants, motor oil and more) and other industrial chemicals that move up the food chain when the toxic-coated beads are consumed by fish and other marine organisms. A single microbead can be up to a million times more toxic than the water around it!

See also Tiny plastic microbes pile up into problems for the Great Lakes. PBS Video. Download an app of product lists, register a product, return a microbead product – Beat the Microbead.


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One Response to Video Friday: Take Action on Plastic Microbeads

  1. James McRitchie 08/29/2015 at 11:10 am #

    From a reader:

    Search: oil spills micro beads

    Typical propaganda. Where is the oil BP gulf spill? No one can see it. Now you know why it can be hidden from people but it is still fouling the environment.

    It looks like they used it on the Great Lakes as well. The fact that it is used in disposable diapers in itself makes it all pervasive. Disposable diapers; disposable babies.

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