We’re pretty much destroying our oceans with plastic. In fact, we’re throwing over 2.6 TRILLION pounds of trash into the water yearly. One of the biggest aggressors in this plastic onslaught to our waterways are microbeads.
Microbeads were added to your soap and toiletries a while back for producers to cut their product with something cheaper than soap — and thereby maximize their profits by selling you less and telling you it’s more. They sold you on the fact that the microbeads magically killed more bacteria. This has been disproven. You’d think that wouldn’t be necessary. Have you ever killed bacteria by putting plastic on it? Of course not.
However, the damage they have caused has been catastrophic for marine life. In New York state 19 tons of these microbeads wash through filters into that state’s water ways EVERY YEAR. 1.7 million of these beads end up in Lake Erie alone. Research shows that these beads are becoming an epidemic for fish nutrition. Perch especially are eating the microbeads mistaking it for actual food. This causes them to grow more slowly and become much easier targets for predators. The most disturbing part is that the fish are showing signs of addiction similar to that of fast food addiction and children.
Part of this is just the continued destruction of marketers finding ways to maximize their client’s profits. We’ve seen it before. And as usual the unintended consequences are f*cking devastating. Maybe it’s time for advertisers and marketers to think about the consequences of their ideas before they implement them. Because, as usual, a few people at the top of corporations are making more money while the rest of us are left to clean up the mess with our tax dollars.
Luckily, the Obama administration banned microbeads back in January after the FDA came to the consensus they were a flat out fraud. Recently an intrepid craft brewer in Florida invented an edible ring system to replace plastic rings on six-packs of beer. We are also starting to embrace garabage incineration to produce energy, which seems like a slam dunk. So things are starting to go in the right direction to cutting down the insane amount of plastics we’re putting in our oceans.
To avoid using bathroom products that still have microbeads, check product lists for your country here.
Via the BBC