Lake Erie – loaded with plastics?

20 Dec 2013

t1_11246_1533_LakeErie_143_250mPoor Lake Erie – as it is downstream from farms and wastewater treatment plants in Ohio and Michigan, it’s an algae magnet;  with its shallow and warm waters it is a good habitat for Asian Carp and now comes word of one more problem heaped on poor Erie’s shoulders.  As I blogged about this summer, there is a serious concern regarding “microbeads” from consumer products are winding up in the Great Lakes.  As Lake Erie is downstream of Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Ontario, that concern all flows toward Erie.  A new report from SUNY indicates that there is more plastic in Lake Erie per square foot than even the Pacific Plastic Gyre.    How does one know if the products (which can include toothpaste!) you buy have these microbeads?  Look at the label – if you see  Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Polymethyl methacrylate or Nylon – the product may have an issue.  There’s an App – that scans the UPC bar codes and looks for microbead ingredients to warn you. I am trying it out but, thus far, it hasn’t recognized many products.

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