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Stop plastic microbead pollution of the Australian marine environment

This petition had 1,325 supporters

Microplastics are small fragments of plastic or fibres typically less than five millimetres long, however the microbeads found in personal care products are almost always smaller than 1 mm. Microbeads are widely used in cosmetics, skin care and other household items such as cleaners & have come to replace many traditional biodegradable exfoliates such as ground nut shells, and salt crystals. Because they are so small and light, the particles cannot be filtered out of water by traditional filtration methods & end up accumulating in the marine environment.

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.

The findings present a stark picture of the state of our marine environment and the increasing levels of contamination from plastic microbeads. 

Other research from around the world highlights the severity of the issue and the problem that it is producing for marine life, causing toxicity and pathology as well as increased stress.

And the risk to humans?

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 progressess, eventually contaminating seafood which may be eaten by humans.

The problem is that the full extent of the impact this irresponsible product has on both the marine environment and human health is not yet fully understood, but it is already evident from existing studies that there are negative impact on marine life.

There is no excuse for polluting our waterways, especially  when there are clearly smarter and enviromentally 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

There are natural alternatives that are safe that can be used.

All over the world, there are renewed calls for bans on microbeads & 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!

It really is common sense. Do we need plastic in our toothpaste, body wash, facial wash and various household cleaning materials when it is just going to pollute the environment?


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Sydney Sustainable Living needs your help with “The Honourable Greg Hunt, MP: Stop plastic microbead pollution of the Australian marine environment”. Join Sydney Sustainable Living and 1,324 supporters today.