This story originally appeared on CurrentCast and is republished here with permission.
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?
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.
Listen to Sherri Mason describe the effects of microbeads on aquatic organisms.
- Scrub up your understanding of microbead pollution with this article by Dr. Sherri Mason
- Read the microbead story on The Story of Stuff Project
- Stay up to date on the microbead bans with Beat the Microbead
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.