Environmental group applauds government’s move to ban microbeads


The head of a Canadian environmental organization says she is happy the federal government is moving forward with a motion to ban microbeads, but still has concerns about how the ban will be implemented.Diane Beckett, interim executive director of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation, says she applauds the federal government’s move to gather public input as it seeks to ban microbeads. Story continues below

“I think it’s really great that the government’s consulting, because somewhere between a ban being unanimously passed in the house and the regulations coming out, there’s things that have happened that concern us.”READ MORE: The ingredient in your face wash and toothpaste may be harming the oceansMicrobeads, which are tiny plastic pellets, are used as cheap abrasives and are too small to be filtered out of waterways, where they end up flowing to the ocean and harming wildlife.Beckett says she is concerned about the difference in the size of microbeads that would be banned in Canada compared to the United States.“If we ban the microbead range that we are proposing here in Canada, all the other places that have banned them that are smaller and bigger, those companies will dump them in Canada,” she said.Last spring, former Halifax-area MP Megan Leslie first presented a motion to ban microbeads, which received unanimous support from her colleagues. The current window for public feedback on the issue is open until March 10.Beckett said she hopes people make their voices heard during the consultation period.“We want to have the best rules in the world,” she said.Before the ban comes into effect, people who want to reduce their microbead usage can try natural products, according to Lee Fisher, co-owner of Casaroma Wellness Centre in Dartmouth.“When [a natural product] gets washed down the drain, it’s going back into Mother Earth,” she said. “Mother Earth already knows how to deal with all of this, it’s not adding into marine-life problems.”The time frame for the government to implement a total ban is expected to be around late 2018.

© Shaw Media, 2016