2 Oct 2017

Pacific moves to ban microbeads

3:58 pm on 2 October 2017

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme says Pacific people are more affected by microbead plastics in the marine food chain than other populations.

Microbeads

An extreme closeup of microbeads. Photo: MPCA Photos

Microbeads are used as a starting material to form larger plastic objects and are also found in household and cosmetic products, such as toothpaste and body scrubs so are washed down drains.

Pollution Advisor Anthony Talouli said Pacific people eat four times more fish than the global average and the plastic ingested by fish in the Pacific had been measured at 30 percent higher than elsewhere.

He said a recent proposal by France to ban plastic microbeads was a way of reducing some of the pollutants and Pacific countries had embraced the idea.

"The SPREP members have made a statement that they are committed towards reducing and in some places banning the microbeads as a form of reducing the amount of marine pollution caused by plastics in our oceans. I think that is a strong commitment."

Anthony Talouli said if nothing is done some projections show by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean.

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