Help ban the production and sale of plastic microbeads
The world’s water is awash with tiny bits of plastic. A new report from the United Nations Environment Programme estimates that this plastic waste damages marine ecosystems every year to the tune of $13 billion, and freshwater species are just as threatened. It’s been known for years that the world’s oceans teem with masses of floating plastic. But microplastics in the Great Lakes were discovered only when scientists dragged the surface of all five lakes in 2012 and 2013 with specially designed nets and found the specks everywhere. Research from the Sydney Institute of Marine Science has found, in 27 sites across Sydney Harbour, up to 60 microplastics per 100 milligrams of sediment.
Animals can mistake microbeads for food and end up with a belly full of plastic, causing blockages and even starvation. What’s more, the microbeads can attract harmful, free-floating chemicals such as the pesticide DDT. There is also a risk to us – when they are eaten by small fish and other sea life, the plastic contamination enters the food chain, potentially releasing toxins which would likely concentrate as the food chain progresses, eventually contaminating seafood which may be eaten by humans.
What can we do?
There is no excuse for polluting our waterways, especially when there are clearly smarter and environmentally friendlier options. Some companies have already made the switch to safer exfoliants or removed the exfoliants from their products, but many have yet to follow suit; the best way to ensure we stop the pollution is to stop the product, especially as there are natural alternatives that are safe that can be used.
All over the world, there are renewed calls for bans on microbeads, and with Australia’s unique marine wildlife and fisheries we too must act on this irresponsible pollutant. We can lead in the call to send a clear message that this is not acceptable. It is our duty to stop polluting our waterways!
The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.
The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.
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How you can help
Add your voice to the fight to ban microbeads and sign the petition now: