As pressure mounts for a global ban on the use of microbeads in cosmetic products, researchers have for the first time shown they directly contaminate fish with toxic chemicals.
AUDIO: Ambient music track
VISUAL: Small plastic blue and white particles being dropped on to a black surface in slow motion.
TITLE: These are microbeads.
TITLE: Tiny plastic particles; huge environmental problem.
VISUAL: A woman applies a face scrub, another scrubs herself with loofa and a man brushes his teeth.
TITLE: You’ll find microbeads in face scrubs, body scrubs and toothpastes.
VISUAL: Drone footage over the ocean.
TITLE: You’ll also find them polluting waterways all over the world.
VISUAL: Time-lapse footage of a river at sunrise
TITLE: About 8 TRILLION microbeads wash into aquatic habitats every day in the US alone.
VISUAL: Time-lapse footage of a large lake.
TITLE: Like all plastics, microbeads are like magnets for pollution when in water.
TITLE: Concentrating pollution – up to one million times
VISUAL: Close-up of the ocean current.
TITLE: Microbeads are so small, fish mistake them for food
VISUAL: Brightly coloured tropical fish scour a coral reef.
TITLE: But do microbeads pass that pollution on to fish?
TITLE: Our researchers asked that question – and their results are disturbing.
VISUAL: A large school of fish move quickly in the water.
TITLE: They found fish absorb up to 12.5% of pollution from microbeads
TITLE: It’s the first study to show Microbeads contaminate fish directly
VISUAL: Close-up of a school of large fish.
TITLE: We know generally if we eat fish, we risk eating any pollution in the fish
TITLE: But we don’t know how microbeads could be affecting public health.
TITLE: That’s the next step in the research.
VISUAL: A fishing boat moves along the horizon at sunrise
TITLE: The US government has passed laws banning microbeads from mid-2017.
VISUAL: Macro close-up of orange, pink and white Microbeads in a glass jar.
TITLE: The Australian government is working towards voluntary phase-out by mid-2018.
VISUAL: Macro close-up of orange, pink and white Microbeads being dropped on to a black surface in slow motion.
TITLE: So what can you do to help?
VISUAL: Blue face scrub containing Microbeads being poured from a bottle in slow motion.
TITLE: Check the ingredients on your scrubs and toothpastes.
TITLE: Look for “polyethylene” - the scientific word for microbeads.
TITLE: And spread the word
TITLE: Shaping the world
TITLE: RMIT animated Logo
AUDIO: Ambient music fades out.
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