Thursday, April 21, 2016

Victoria's Green Matters - 21st April 2016

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

The use of plastic is part of our daily lives – where would we be without it? Many items have become indispensible and they are cheap to produce but the big drawback is the fact that plastic does not fully biodegrade and therefore hangs around on land and in the seas for many years.

The use of plastic microbeads in exfoliant toiletries has been of great concern for some time and recently the USA banned their use, with Canada set to follow suit. Several European Union countries want a legal ban but so far the UK has made no moves to do so. Now a recent poll carried out in the UK has revealed that 90% of those questioned believe that microbeads should be banned in the UK.

Microbeads are particles of plastic used in facial washes, toothpastes and abrasive cleaners among lots of other things; because they are small enough to go down the plughole they easily pass through water filtration systems. As many as 100,000 microbeads may be used during one application. They are readily mistaken as food particles by marine animals and also attract toxins in the seawater which can be passed into the food chain and eventually end up on our dining tables.

Many firms have taken action to remove microbeads from their production lines as there are safe alternatives already available such as salt and ground nut shells. It is also up to consumers to make sure that the products we buy do not contain these beads.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

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