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Canadian government to ban microplastics

The government of Canada is taking steps to ban microplastics from cosmetic products. Microplastic pollution is a global problem. The NGO Upcycle the Gyres Society (UpGyres) applauds the leadership role the government of Canada is taking towards banning microplastics in cosmetics. They want to bring a few other concerns to their attention; like how biodegradable or bio based microplastics and beads are not the answer to reducing marine litter.

Also, microplastics are not only used in cosmetics. In heavy industry microplastics are used as a blasting material for paint remover for aviation and automotive applications. Moreover, stopping the flux of this material into the drainage and into the ocean is as important as taking the microplastic particles out of the water for microplastics get washed down the drain by the tons on a daily basis, passing right through our waste management systems and going straight into our waterways. There, they accumulate in the world’s oceans, lakes and rivers, and increasingly finding their way into the food chain, ending up in the tissue of things like birds and fish and crustaceans and shellfish.

Microplastics and human health

There is a good chance that we are ingesting them ourselves. According to research, we could ingest up to 11.000 pieces of plastic per year from consuming seafood. Multiple NGOs agree that the use of microplastics and microbeads should be banned as soon as possible. The timeline of 2018 and 2019 is way too slow for the damage that these particles are affecting on marine life and potentially to human health.

UpGyres mentioned that they will monitor the situation as corporations have the habit of moving their products (such as DDT) from countries that ban them to developing and unsuspecting countries that are not informed or that do not have the means to legislate harmful product bans on their own.