Don’t use exfoliants with “microbeads!” Even the smallest plastic particles are polluting the ocean!

Microplastics with little blue Vellela jellies

A recent article in ScienceNews talks about the microplastics that are polluting our oceans and threatening marine organisms.  Microplastics are tiny tiny pieces of plastic that can come from products like exfoliants that advertise that they have “microbeads” and laundry lint that comes from synthetic fabrics like fleece.  Even if the plastics themselves are not harmful to marine organisms, the plastics can be contaminated with many toxins that are harmful.  Microplastics are so small that they don’t get filtered out through the sewage/water treatment plants.  Some of these microplastics are so small that they are being consumed by organisms as tiny as krill which are at the base of the food web.  If krill absorb toxins from the plastic and let’s say, a whale eats 5000lbs of krill twice a day during their feeding season, they are ingesting toxins from millions of krill daily!

So…how can you help?

*Don’t buy products with “microbeads”-Look for “polyethelene” in the ingredients.  Polyethele= plastic

*Find products with natural exfoliants like salts, finely ground peach stones, or apricot pits.

*Empty out your lint filter and dispose of it properly.

*Buy less synthetic fabrics, more natural ones.

The following video was made by middle schoolers:

This video is produced by the Watershed Video Project, a program of Reaching Out to Communities and Kids with Science in San Francisco (SF-ROCKS) (a program run by former Synergy parent, Jim Neiss!) located in the Department of Geosciences at San Francisco State University in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco.

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