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Environment


Ohio joins the growing campaign vs. microbeads in personal-care products
Lake Erie shows the greatest concentration of the microscopic plastics
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE
and KELSEY LEYVA


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
The campaign against microbeads caught the attention of a first-grader in Minnesota.
Courtesy of Creative Commons
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In The Region:

At the same time environmentalists are worried about big fish breaching into Lake Erie, they’re increasingly concerned about tiny particles called microbeads heading for the Great Lakes as well. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the growing attempt to ban the synthetic plastics.

LISTEN: The concern and campaign against microbeads

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State Sens. Mike Skindell and Charletta Tavares have introduced a bill to ban stores in Ohio from selling the cosmetics and other products that contain the microscopic bits of plastic. A similar bill in Illinois is further along, with a planned phase out by 2018.

The Alliance for the Great Lakes supports such bans. Still, Jennifer Caddick says some of the greatest progress has been made with manufacturers, including Cincinnati based Proctor and Gamble, who have stopped using the plastics in their toothpastes, facial scrubs and other products.

“It’s just a common sense step. There are numerous readily available natural alternatives that can be used instead of these plastic particles. And so we’re really pleased that these companies have stepped up and said, ‘OK, we’re going to remove these from our products, move toward using more natural alternatives.’ It not only makes their products of more interest to consumers, but also is more protective of our waterways, including the Great Lakes.”

A 2012 study by a State University of New York researcher found microplastics accounted for half of the plastics found in Lake Erie. And of the three Great Lakes surveyed  --  Superior, Huron and Erie -- 90 percent of the plastic was concentrated in Lake Erie. – which recorded more than 1 million plastic particles per square mile.


Related WKSU Stories

Exploradio: Microbeads and Lake Erie's floating plastic garbage patch
Monday, May 26, 2014

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