Menu

Credit: Alliance for the Great Lakes//Image of plastic pollution in the Great Lakes.

Research from a leading international expert on the health of the Great Lakes suggests that the growing intensity and scale of pollution from plastics poses serious risks to human health and will continue to have profound consequences on the ecosystem and that the Great Lakes are facing an attack from micro-plastic.

Related post: How To Reduce Microplastic In Your Home!

In an article published this month in the Journal of Waste Resources and Recycling, Gail Krantzberg, a professor in the Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology at McMaster University, argues that while plastic waste in the oceans has generated widespread global attention, few realize the problem is also getting much worse closer to home.

Great Lakes Facing An Attack From Micro-Plastic

“We are increasingly detecting microplastics in the waters and fish and wildlife in the Great Lakes,” she says. “A fish with a gut full of plastics cannot be a healthy fish and can, in fact, starve to death.  We know this problem is increasing in severity.”

Microplastics, which are typically less than 5 mm in size, are found in textiles, medicines and personal care products such as facial scrubs, toothpaste and cleansers.

Related post: How To Create A Plastic-Free Cleaning Kit

Significant concentrations of microplastics have found their way into the Great Lakes and surrounding watersheds for several reasons which include dense urban populations that produce more plastic litter, increasingly severe storms that overwhelm municipal water treatment facilities sending runoff into the ecosystem and the failure of recycling efforts.

Much of what we believe we are recycling actually ends up in the landfill and flies away into our streams, rivers and lakes, explains Krantzberg.

Some studies have found that plastic debris can travel up to 100 km in the atmosphere, possibly further, and accumulates in large quantities along shorelines, beaches, and in open freshwater and marine environments.

“It is hard to conceive of recapturing all the plastics that are now in the lakes, but we can make a difference by eliminating many unnecessary plastics from use such as plastic straws, cutlery, bags and other disposable waste,” she says.

By some estimates, the overall economic impact of plastics on marine ecosystems is expected to reach $13-billion US per year.

 

 

The Eco Hub

The Eco Hub is Canada's premier online lifestyle and news publication devoted to all things sustainability. Founded by Environmental Journalist Candice Batista, it is known for its impeccable reporting and trend-spotting on the green living beat. Since The Eco Hub's establishment in 2016, it has become Canada's number 1 resource for natural wellness, green beauty, ethical fashion, low-waste living, environmental news, and more. This year, The Eco Hub is proud to announce that their online work has earned the distinction of Honoree in the 24th Annual Webby Awards.
You may also like

HOORAY!

I am so excited to share this guide with you and have you as a new reader.

About once a month we send a newsletter with our latest on living a greener and healthier life.

Let me know how you like the guide.

 

Success! Detox Your Life is on the way, check your inbox.

SPECIAL OFFER!

READY TO DETOX YOUR HOME?

Get my free 10-page eBook on how to "Detox For Life" and break up with toxic chemicals lurking in your home for good!

Plus get VIP access to the latest in News, Trends, and Solutions on living a more sustainable life.

Success! Please check your inbox.