Friday, November 27, 2015

Microbeads found in sea salt

Microbeads have made their way into contaminating sea salt. Breaking down various salts such as sea salt, and rock and well salt, scientists from the American Chemistry Society have discovered that every kilogram of sea salt contains roughly 550 to 681 microbeads. Using sea salt at the recommended nutrition level means that the consumption of the plastic particles comes out to be 1,000 per person every year. These dangerous particles may even make their way into cells and damage tissues (microbeads absorb toxic chemicals such as the pesticide DDT and toxic polychlorinated biphenyl). 

Microbeads are extremely detrimental to sea life. Because these tiny particles typically measure out to be about 2 millimeters, they are easily washed down the drain and will continue to flow through into the ocean and contaminate various sea life such as turtles, sea birds, and whales. Planktons, tiny organisms that live under water also consume the plastic, and sea life consumes the plankton. Bits and pieces of plastic are now being found across beaches around the world, as well as new types of rocks forming from the mixture of plastics and sand. 

Below is a video of plankton consuming plastic. If something as tiny as a sea organism can consume this plastic, it is imperative that we know of its impact on the food chain, making its way up to destroying wildlife as well as us as human beings. 



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tompkins County Bans Microbeads!

In New York, Tompkins County has officially passed the budget unanimously to ban products containing Microbeads in all Tompkins County stores. They will have a six month transitional period for store owners to clear out products containing Microbeads and inform their retailers of the recent shift. Once the six month grace period has been fulfilled, store inspectors will be sent out to assure no Microbead products are left behind, otherwise the store will be fined up to $2,500 per day the product is on their shelves.
     Although Tompkins County is small in comparison to all of New York every small step counts in the protection of our environment. Heres to another ban to Microbeads!

To read the full article Click Here!

Sources Cited

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Adidas taking a stand against microbeads

Adidas has finally taken the step to stand against microbeads. Starting January 2016, all Adidas body care products will be without this harmful particle. This began with an announcement by Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at Adidas, Jochen Denninger:

“…I was looking at ways to make immediate changes happen. I became impatient and a Greenpeace report about microbeads in body care products caught my attention because adidas products were on that list.” 

The Greenpeace report had highlighted several of Adidas’ shower gels and body washes that contained the particles. Adidas, having partnered up with Parley for the Oceans (an organization with a mission to protect and clean oceans) had worked on eco-friendly strategies such as the development of footwear made from upcycled ocean waste, elimination of plastic bags from stores amongst many things, placed immediate action against the microbead.

While many brands have announced that they will stop selling products containing microbeads, Adidas had partnered up with their licensee Coty, to take immediate action and to develop new and better formulas for their products. 

“By January 1, 2016, adidas and its license partner Coty will end the use of plastic microbeads in adidas body care products.”


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Microbeads in Oregon

Many states and localities have taken the steps and voted against microbeads, effectively banning them. Oregon is not yet on that list, even though we're known as an environmentally friendly and green state. However, it looks like we could be the next to ban the Microbead. In April the Oregon House voted in favor of a ban. According to the data, the senate has yet to pass an outcome. Hopefully we will follow suit to California and localities in New York. Here is a link to the progress of the Oregon bill under review: Oregon Legislature. Here is a link to more detailed activity: Oregon Live bill tracker

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Albany County, NY, bans products containing microbeads

As of this date, Albany County in New York has come to join several other states and counties who have banned the usage of microbeads. The measure passed unanimously with bipartisan support after local officials were tasked with three options: “do nothing, which… is not acceptable; spend millions of dollars of taxpayer money to upgrade water treatment facilities to filter out the tiny pollutants; or ban them.” Tom Ellis, an activist who helped pushed the bill, is hoping vendors will cease to use microbeads in their products; since this bill will require retailers to request no products containing microbeads, there is an assumption that big vendors will stop using microbeads instead of wasting resources on creating specialized product shipments by county and state. Those who violate this law will face fines reaching upwards to $5,000 a day.

This measure was particularly meaningful because it was the first ban to pass in the Hudson River watershed, a 13,390-square-mile drainage basin where surface water from rain, snow or ice converge to a single point at a lower elevation where waters join another water body. Groups such as the Hudson River Estuary Program have been working diligently to ensure the natural habitat and wildlife of the watershed are preserved, and this measure acts as a major victory in their favor. The Hudson River watershed is especially important because it is one of the most studied bodies of water; settlers founded it 400 years ago, and researchers have been drawing information from it regarding fish patterns for over 100 years. New species of fish are introduced to it every year; with the ban on microbeads in Albany County, it is now up to the other counties surrounding the Hudson River watershed to ensure that the wildlife continues to flourish. 


Sunday, November 8, 2015

How Exactly Do Microbeads Affect Wildlife?

Microbeads, the tiny, 1mm balls of plastic commonly found in toothpastes, and exfoliating scrubs, are so tiny in fact that they cannot be filtered through sewage systems. They make their way to our waterways, causing vast plastic water pollution. According to a study of chemist Lorena Rios of the University of Wisconsin-Superior, 1,500 to 1.7 million plastic particles per square mile were found by her team in the great lakes.
Who is Affected by Microbead Pollution?

Marine life is largely affected by this pollution, and here's how: Fish mistake the microbeads for food, eat them, and then cannot digest them properly, thus starving them of nutrients. Microbeads can easily absorb chemicals that can potentially affect the species DNA, causing deformities. In one study, around 35% of 670 fish examined (a total of 6 species) had microbeads in their stomachs.  Microbeads have also been known to make their way into the flesh of fish, and then into our stomachs! The smallest fragments of plastic are filtered and retained by filter feeders such as mussels. Belgian toxicologist Colin Janssen found that on average, each gram of mussel flesh contains one particle of plastic. that is scary!
-Product containing microbeads is purchased, used, and washed down he drain. The plastic microbeads make their way to the waterway and are mistaken for food by marine life. The fish containing microbeads are bought and consumed by humans.-
Products that DO NOT contain microbeads:
-Tree Hut Shea Sugar Body Scrub Brazilian Nut
-St. Ives Hypo-Allergenic Purify Exfoliating Body Wash
-Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub
-St. Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub
-Biore Acne Clearing Scrub
-Elimis Gentle Rose Exfoliator
-Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel
-Skimedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
-Murad Age Refrom AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
-Renee Rouleau Mint Buffing Beads
-Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Line Smoothing Exfoliator
-Jan Marini Clean Zyme Face Cleanser
-Arcona Cranberry Gommage Exfoliate
-Algenist Triple-Action Micropolish & Peel
-Perricone MD Blue Plasma