Next Friday 27 April 2018, our State and Federal Environment Ministers will meet to discuss crucial issues, including the introduction of a nationwide ban on microbeads.
From personal care to dental hygiene to household cleaning, microbeads are used in an enormous range of products. They slip through our inadequate waste water filtration infrastructure and end up in the ocean. Once there, they act as a sponge for water-borne toxins and are easily mistaken as a food source by unwitting marine life, potentially adding toxins directly to the human food chain.
What’s more, without a national ban, surplus products containing microbeads that have been rejected by other countries could easily make their way to Australia, as manufacturers try to cut their losses. We can’t afford to let Australia become a potential dumping ground for these billions of pieces of microplastic.
Right now, the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, France, Sweden, Taiwan, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands have or will soon introduce bans on microbeads. Australia has no plans to do the same.
Instead the Commonwealth Government is relying on a voluntary phase out but only a national ban will eliminate the problem once and for all.
We need to put the pressure on. We need to protect marine wildlife, we need to protect the ocean. We need to protect our health.