US to ban products that cause ‘plastic pollution’ in rivers and seas
The US government has announced that it will ban some care products contain microbeads from July 2017.
Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic found in soap, toothpaste and body washes. They flow into seas, rivers and lakes where they are eaten by fish. This can lead to the spread of pollutants throughout the food chain, including to humans.
Fish are, of course, the standard food source for whales and dolphins and so the effects of plastic pollutants are simply transferred along the food chain. Indeed, these toxins are able to accumulate for much longer period of time inside a whale or dolphin than in fish, making the effect far worse the higher up the food chain they travel.
The US House of Representatives has approved a bill that would phase out the environmentally harmful items, and The Microbead Free Waters Act will now go to the Senate for final ratification.