One major source of this pollution is the use of plastic microbeads in personal care and laundry products. Plastic microbeads are used as exfoliating including face wash, body wash and toothpaste. Products containing microbeads are rinsed down the drain, and every day trillions of these tiny plastic beads travel into our waterways.
Once in aquatic and marine environments, microbeads can be consumed by shellfish and fish and have already likely made their way back to us through seafood. Natural biodegradable products can be substituted to perform the task of plastic microbeads.
Microbeads represent one of the easy-to-solve, components of the global microplastic debris problem. By banning plastic microbeads from personal care and laundry products, we would remove this source of plastic debris from our waterways. Microbeads are therefore the low-hanging fruit and an essential step in addressing the global microplastic debris problem.
66 nongovernmental organizations from 32 countries support the "beat the microbead" campaign, seven large companies have now committed to ridding their products of microbeads including Unilever, L'Oreal and The Body Shop, Clarins, Clearasil and Ella Baché. Bans on the use of microbeads in personal care products have been proposed in the US, Canada and the EU. For example, legislation has been introduced in over 20 US states, including in California, whose economy is the eighth largest in the world. Such bills have already passed in several states, beginning with Illinois, and now a federal bill is being considered. In Australia, New South Wales is leading work at a state level, but to be most effective, work must be done at a national level.
Sign the Petition to support the ban of Microbeads
Your petitions ask that the Senate support legislation via a private members bill introduced by the Greens, to ban the use of microbeads in personal care and laundry products. We call on ALL members parliament to endorse this bill so Australia can remove this significant source of plastic debris from our waterways.
Listen to Surfrider Foundation's, Susie Crick and her recent interview on RRR; Click Here Susie explains the effect that plastic microbeads are having on the marine life and Surfriders call for the outright ban on the use of microbeads.
On Thursday, February 18, The Sydney Morning Herald publish an article on 'Marine plastics pollution senate inquiry covers the ugly truth of the issue' Click Here
Surfrider Foundation Australia was well represented at the Senate hearing on February 18, 2016 by Susie Crick, Brendan Donohoe and Rowan Hanley, read the report from hearing: Click Here