microplastics

a photo of a container filled with nurdles
JACE TUNNELL / NURDLE PATROL

When the petrochemical plant being built by Shell Chemical Appalachia in Beaver County, Pennsylania is complete, it’s anticipated to bring 600 jobs as well as spinoff industries. Some researchers and activists warn that it could also bring a new type of pollution to the Ohio River Valley — nurdles.

DIARI LA VEU / FLICKR CC

Lake Erie has one of the highest concentrations of microplastic pollution in the world.

Sherri Mason, a researcher at Penn State Behrend in Erie, was the first to report that finding.

Her discovery led to congressional action banning microbeads in consumer products.

On this week’s Exploradio,  we spend some time with Mason finding out how microplastic pollution remains a health hazard.

photo of Mustard Seed Market Highland Square
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

One of the largest supermarket chains in the country is phasing out plastic bags. And at least one Northeast Ohio grocer is moving toward the same thing.

Cincinnati-based Kroger said it will phase out the bags starting next year to reduce waste and encourage customers to bring reusable bags.

"Microfibers" and "Microplastics" Pose Threat to the Great Lakes

Jan 5, 2017
photo of microplastics
MINNESOTA POLLUTION CONTROL AGENCY

The United States and Canada are moving to ban microbeads -- the tiny plastic bits in toothpaste and facewash that are big water polluters. Now scientists are focusing on a similar problem -- and it’s lurking in your laundry hamper.

When you do laundry, take a look at the tags on your clothes. You’ll find that most shirts and pants have some synthetic material -- like polyester, nylon or spandex. Every time you wash them, tiny plastic fibers go down the drain.