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Marine Waste: Cleanser Can Release 100,000 Micro-Beads
We've heard about plastic "microbeads" from cosmetics and pastes getting into streams and the ocean. In June 2014, Illinois became the first state to begin the process of banning the tiny beads, and some legislators are asking for a federal ban in the U.S. Other countries are discussing the beads too, as a recent study by researchers at the U.K.'s Plymouth University shows. That study found that a single use of a bead-containing product--which include hand cleansers, soaps, toothpaste, shaving cream, bubble bath, sunscreen and shampoo--can release 100,000 microbeads into marine environments.

Because those plastic particles--each about a fraction of a millimeter in diameter--pass through normal sewage receptors and are released into rivers and oceans, the Plymouth University researchers estimate they may be adding up to 80 tons of plastics waste from the U.K. alone, and that their impact on marine ecosystems is big, according to a news release regarding that research.



 
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Phragmites Invasions Harm Riparian Ecology - Michigan has many areas where fires or flooding are an ongoing concern. The introduction of Phragmites and similar non-native invasive plants can increase those risks. The unchecked growth of invasive plants may change how water drains, drying out wetlands and creating situations for local flooding. This can create the potential for fire hazards, especially in the spring where last year’s dead and dry growth is still standing.


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