Greenpeace has been on the forefront in the fight for the environment. As global warming and climate change continue to threaten the world, its cause is more urgent than ever. Greenpeace wants the UK to ban microbeads, as these are pollutants that are harming marine life.
Plastic microbeads are very small. They are very tiny that they cannot even be filtered. Most of these are washed off and carried to canals that lead to the sea. These small microbeads are then eaten by many fishes and other marine creatures.
Erik Van Sebille, an oceanographer and climate scientist at the Imperial College London said that microbeads are the most harmful type of plastic, since marine life eats them. There are around 12 million tons of plastic waste that goes into the ocean every year, though only a fraction of those is made up of plastic microbeads. Still, it has been shown that they could harm marine life.
Small plastic could easily be digested by animals. Plastic that is large would be ignored by most marine animals, Sebille notes. Small plastic like microbeads though are not easily distinguished by animals, so they would likely be eaten. Microbeads are small. They can have a size of 0.1 millimeters, which would make them easily be digested by most marine creatures.
Cosmetics has been one of the main culprits that contain microbeads. As an example, exfoliating cream can have as much as several hundred thousand of them. This has been explained by David Santillo, a researcher for Greenpeace at Exeter University.
The British government will review microbeads this December. There is mounting pressure from Greenpeace and other environmental groups to have them banned, according to Phys Org. The United States and other countries have already taken steps to limit the use of microbeads in products.
Already some supermarket chains like Tesco are taking action. Tesco is asking manufacturers to use natural ingredients in their products, as The Express Tribune reports. These natural ingredients would be more environmental friendly than the use of such ingredients like microbeads.
Greenpeace wants the UK to ban microbeads as they pose a threat to the environment and harm marine life. Many marine creatures are susceptible to it and would eat it. Also in danger are coral reefs, which are said to be threatened by carbon dioxide.