Update on microplastics that you don't want to miss!
by chelseagiddings on November 25, 2016 - 12:31am
Microbeads are plastic particles that are used in exfoliating personal care products, toothpastes, in biomedical and health science research, and it has recently been declared toxic. Microplastics do not dissolve and they make their way into oceans, rivers and lakes where they are consumed by a variety of organisms. It has been causing water pollution and posing environmental hazards for aquatic animals.
Information was released that in 2014, about 100,000 kilograms of plastic microbeads were imported into Canada for exfoliants and cleansers, while as much as 10,000 mire kilograms were used in the domestic manufacture of personal care products (Staff, 2016). The federal government has stated that in Canada, microbeads will be banned and effective mid-2018 (Staff, 2016). There will be new regulations that are under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act that will be prohibiting the manufacture and import of microbeads. It was stated that in 2014, Canadian manufacturers were responsible for 99 percent of the total amount of plastics microbeads (Staff, 2016). This relates back to what we have learned in one of our lectures on the issue-attention cycle. The issue-attention cycle is a cycle that is represented by stage 1) pre-problem stage, stage 2) alarmed discovery and euphoric enthusiasm, stage 3) realizing the cost of significant process, stage 4) gradual decline of public interest, stage 5) the post-problem stage and then it can cycle through again. Microbeads were at stage 2 of the attention cycle because it was discovered that it was a problem and it began to be a great deal of a topic all over the media. It also relates back to what we have learned in lecture on what the role of media plays in natural resource management. Covering an issue in the media can be beneficial to spreading awareness but the problem is that is does not result in delivering long term attention to the issue. Microbeads has been an increasing issue over years and it is now being looked at to solve.
My reaction to the article was that it was eye opening to see how microbeads are negatively impacting the environment and to be able to read that there is a solution that is being put forth. It is good to know that microbeads are now being banned in Canada and actions are going to be implemented to make sure that they follow through. Hopefully, the actions that are being taken in Canada will spark interest in other countries to do something to stop the environmental effects that microbeads are having all around the world. It is interesting that it is going to take a while just for the microbeads to be ban but what actions can we take in the meantime? An action that we can take now is to not purchase any more products that have microbeads in them because we know how harmful they are to the environment.
Staff. “Plastic microbeads will be banned in Canada, effective mid-2018.” Global News. 04 Nov. 2016. Web. 24 Nov. 2016. http://globalnews.ca/news/3047732/plastic-microbeads-will-be-banned-in-c...