Plastics

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Federal legislation would ban microplastics in personal care products

University of Michigan research scientist Melissa Duhaime and research assistants Rachel Cable and Greg Boehm sort through the organisms, plastic debris and sediment collected in their net’s first tow. Image: Danielle Woodward

BUFFALO – A New York U.S. senator recently introduced legislation to ban tiny plastic particles in personal care products. These plastic microbeads are found in products like facial scrubs, body washes, hand cleansers and toothpastes. They are too small to be caught by wastewater treatment plants so they end up in large bodies of water like the Great Lakes. Illinois has already banned plastic microbeads in consumer products and similar legislation is being considered in New York, Ohio and California. The plastics concentrate toxins that would normally settle in sediment at the bottom of the lake. Continue Reading →

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Miami’s Pangaea Explorations launches research journey into Great Lakes

The Sea Dragon, pictured here, will sail from Cape Cod to Halifax. Photo: Pangaea Exploration.

The summer, anyone from senior citizens to students can assist in hands-on research in the Great Lakes. Florida organization Pangaea Explorations launches its first expedition into the Great Lakes, to conduct research on plastic pollution in the Great Lakes. Currently sailing in Bermuda, the expedition yacht Sea Dragon will travel to Cape Cod, Massachusetts in late June to kick off the Great Lakes expedition. Throughout the course of the trip, there will be eight separate legs, where the different “citizen science” groups will switch off to assist in hands-on research focused primarily on plastics in the Great Lakes. The groups include undergraduate students, senior citizens, teachers and more. Continue Reading →

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