There is currently legislation to phase out products containing plastic microbeads in New York and Illinois. These tiny pieces are often made out of plastic and they are commonly put into body washes and facial cleansers to exfoliate the skin. Environmentalists say that these microbeads are polluting the ocean and research is now underway in the Great Lakes which contain more than 20% of the world’s freshwater.
Earth Touch News Network explains: “Because of their small size and buoyancy, microbeads escape treatment by sewage plants and are discharged into rivers, lakes and oceans. Mistaken for food, they’re ingested by small fish and other aquatic life. But the problem isn’t just the obvious belly-aching threat of swallowing plastic. The plastic beads also accumulate toxic chemicals that may be found in the water, poisoning the fish” small fish can die from ingesting too many microbeads.