Great Lakes microplastic concentrations concern scientists

By on November 13, 2013

Plastic pellets common in marine debris (Credit: NOAA Marine Debris Program, via Flickr)


Microplastics in the Great Lakes are found in greater percentages than those found in ocean water samples, according to a release from the Michigan State University Extension. The extension office is offering tips for reducing personal contributions to the number.

Much of the small plastic matter that makes it into the Great Lakes come from skin lotions and soaps. By checking the ingredients, consumers can choose products that don’t include polyethylene beads, a major contributor. There are also natural products on the market that don’t contain microplastics and use natural skin exfoliants.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has found plastic inside yellow perch as part of fish diet analysis studies. But choosing wholesome products and upping recycling efforts can help, as well as minimizing litter near Great Lakes beaches.

Image: Plastic pellets common in marine debris (Credit: NOAA Marine Debris Program, via Flickr)

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