Nov 20

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Another Clean-Up for Mother Nature

Governments might be phasing out the use of microbeads, but nothing but time will remove the problem from the environment. Phase in to this:

Microplastics like these look just like fish eggs to a hungry predator, and are eaten often! (via gentlemanrock, NOAA)

Microplastics look just like fish eggs to a hungry predator, and often get eaten! (via gentlemanrook)

Microbeads are tiny bits of plastic most often made of polyethylene. Found in face scrubs and toothpastes, they wash down the drain, slipping through filters into waterways…where they’re eaten by birds and marine life.

Now, a nationwide ban is phasing out them out. But what about the trillions already in our water?

Sherri Mason of SUNY Fredonia does not think a large scale clean-up is possible. She says, in time, the tiny beads will settle in the sediment at the bottom and be buried.

Mason: “Ultimately, the reality is that we have to change our habits to reduce the sources of these things.”

That means avoiding products with microbeads until the ban goes into effect in 2018.

Hear More:

Listen to Sherri Mason describe the effects of microbeads on aquatic organisms.

 Get Schooled:

The Fine Print:

  • This segment was produced with Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and supported by agreement with New York Sea Grant, funds provided by the Environmental Protection Fund under the authority of the New York Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this broadcast are those of the originators and do not necessarily reflect the views of Stony Brook University or New York Sea Grant.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.currentcast.org/marine-debris/another-clean-up-for-mother-nature/