Why Polystyrene Is The New Microbead

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For the week of 19 February 2018

Letter from the Editor

Join us Thursday, April 26 at 1pm EDT / 10am PDT / 5pm UTC for a webinar on Why Polystyrene Is The New Microbead. Presented by Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, Executive Director of The 5 Gyres Institute.

Through the 5 Gyres nix the 6 Action Campaign, thousands of people have pledged to refuse single-use polystyrene plastic. What does it mean to Nix the 6? #sneakystyrene polysytrene products are everywhere, from coffee cup lids to straws, cutlery and cups (even red SOLO cups). Expanded polystyrene foam—commonly known as "Styrofoam"—is basically polystyrene that's expanded with air. You can identify these plastics by the number "6" on the bottom. When you Nix the 6, you pledge to refuse these single-use plastics. 

Why is this so important? 5 Gyres has seen how individual decisions like these can snowball into massive change. Our 2012 study that discovered plastic microbeads in the Great Lakes inspired a movement, culminating with major corporate phase out—think L’Oreal and Johnson & Johnson—and statewide bans on both coasts. In 2015, President Obama signed a federal microbeads ban into law!

Like microbeads, polystyrene plastics are environmental hazards. They are extremely toxic to make and difficult to recycle. Polystyrene and "Styrofoam" are even banned from many recycling programs because of contamination problems—less than 2% of polystyrene was recycled in 2013. 

With local polystyrene bans on many ballots this year and a statewide ban being considered in California, this is the year to join the movement. We did it before with microbeads—now it's time for a polystyrene ban! 

In this webinar, we’ll cover the new 5 Gyres white paper on polystyrene and reproductive toxicity, activism resources, and our partnership with the Post Landfill Action Network (PLAN) to support bans on college campuses—even in preemptive states. 

Meanwhile, look for the #sneakystyrene hashtag to follow the campaign on social media.

Webinar co-sponsored by EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by NatureServe and OCTO).

To register, visit: https://oct.to/Webinar166

Thank you for being part of the OpenChannels Community,

- Allie Brown, Raye Evrard, and the rest of the OpenChannels Team

28 News posts this week

36 new Literature items this week

  • Environmental Pollution has published, Investigating microplastic trophic transfer in marine top predators (https://oct.to/OC1225).

  • Frontiers in Marine Science has issued, Exploring the Ecology of Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents in a Metacommunity Framework (https://oct.to/OC1226).

  • MedPAN has released, Science for MPA Management: Understanding the UN/EU Ecosystem Approach and the Role of MPAs (https://oct.to/OC1227).

3 new Blogs this week

1 new Grant this week

1 new Conference this week

3 new Jobs this week

  • Charles Darwin Foundation needs a Shark Project Volunteer. Based in the Galapagos!(https://oct.to/OC1232)

  • The Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) is hiring a full-time permanent Education and Office Coordinator. Office in Key Largo, Florida. (https://oct.to/OC1233)