June 30, 2016 (Ottawa) – The Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) is thankful that the federal government has added microbeads to the List of Toxic Substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. This listing now gives the government the power to ban these harmful plastic beads.
There couldn’t be a better time to act on this important issue. Many personal care products contain microbeads - plastic particles that are so small they are described in micrometres. And the sheer number of products that contain microbeads - from body scrubs to exfoliating cleansers, toothpaste to microdermabrasion products – is astounding.
If they are not filtered out during sewage treatment, they end up being released directly into our oceans, lakes and rivers where they have the potential to harm wildlife.
“It’s wonderful to see microbeads finally added to the List of Toxic Substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act,” says Nicolas Lapointe, CWF Senior Conservation Biologist of Freshwater Ecology. “We’ve been concerned about the threat microbeads might pose to Canada’s rivers, lakes and oceans and the wildlife that live there. Listing microbeads as a toxic substance is a great step forward, and we encourage the government to act quickly to ban the sale and distribution of products that contain microbeads as soon as possible.”
About the Canadian Wildlife Federation
The Canadian Wildlife Federation is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of our natural world. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on the environment, sponsoring research, developing and delivering education programs, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, recommending changes to policy and co-operating with like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. For more information visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca.
Senior Conservation Biologist – Freshwater Ecology