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  • Throughout the world, around one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed every year by plastics, either entangled and strangled or choked and starved.

    baby turtle victim to ocean plastic pollution

Microplastics

Microplastics are the subject of environmental concern worldwide. They are plastic particles less than 5mm in length, and come from two main sources:

Primary Sources

Plastic pellets (also referred to as ‘nurdles’ or ‘mermaids tears’) - These are the size of a pea, and are the raw plastic material for the production of most plastic products. They can be lost down factory drains or during transportation, and end up on beaches and in the ocean.

Microbeads - Tiny plastic pellets used in personal care, cosmetic and household cleaning products (e.g. facial and body scrubs, toothpastes and washing powders).

Secondary sources

These are tiny plastic pieces from the breakdown of larger plastic that ends up in the ocean.

Both primary and secondary sources of microplastics are threatening marine wildlife through ingestion, in particular nurdles and microbeads which are mistaken for fish eggs. Once in their stomach, the space for normal food is reduced, feeding behaviour is altered, and energy levels drop. This often resulting in starvation.

Have you eaten microplastic today?

We know that fish, and even zooplankton – some of the smallest creatures on earth - are eating more microplastic every year. However, the full impact of microplastics on the marine environment is not fully understood, this includes the risk to human health. As marine litter is readily ingested by species throughout the food chain including a few well documented consumed as seafood, there is real danger that these pollutants may be passed up the food chain to human consumers.

  • Enrolled to vote? Contact your local MP and your federal environment minister and ask for ACTION on a microplastics ban from commercial products around the country now!