An insight into microplastics, and their effect on the environment, by Integra Water.
With ‘Plastic Free July’ upon us we felt it an opportune time to look at microplastics. Much of the recent media coverage emphasises the negative effects of microplastics contaminating our waters and infiltrating aquatic life, and, subsequently, our dinner plates. A recent study released by the University of Newcastle has estimated we could be ingesting 5 grams of plastic each week, the equivalent of one credit card.
So, what are microplastics and where do they come from? Plastic debris can come in all shapes and sizes, but those that are less than five millimeters in length (or about the size of a sesame seed) are defined as “microplastics.”
Primary microplastics are those that are purposely manufactured and include microbeads, used in products such as hand cleaners, facial scrubs and even toothpaste. Australia has been slow to implement a total ban on microbeads, while other countries including the United States and Canada are leading the way to completely ban the use of microbeads in personal care products. To ensure you do not purchase products containing microbeads read the product label and look for products containing PE, PET, PP, PA or PMMA.
Integra do not use microbeads in our products, but simply reducing microbeads will not solve the problem. Secondary microplastics are caused through the breakdown of larger pieces of plastic. This includes the now infamous plastic bag but the source of microplastics is widespread and doesn’t stop there. Washing synthetic clothing containing polyester, nylon and acrylics releases microplastics with fleecy items being the main offenders. You have probably never considered where all the tread from your car tyres end up, but down the drain is the answer.
One of the solutions we can offer to reduce the use of microbeads is MagicMud™ hand cleaner.
Magic Mud is a unique natural hand cleaner containing Soft Zeolite found in the geo-thermally rich area of the Central North Island of New Zealand.
The Soft Zeolite properties magnetically pull contaminants away from the skin and are tough enough to clean dirt, grease, oil, paint, chemicals, and amazingly removes and absorbs the most rank of smells from your hands. If you want to test it on those ‘fishy’ smells give us a call and we will provide a free sample.
Committed to Our Customers, Our People, Our Solutions
Integra are a long time supplier to the seafood industry providing products and services to the wild catch, aquaculture and post harvest sectors.
A 100% Australian owned company, Integra was founded in 1990 and has grown to be a truly national business employing in excess of 200 people. With manufacturing facilities in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide and extensive supply and support capability in every capital city and many major regional centres throughout Australia, Integra are the supplier of choice wherever you are located.
Integra are proud to be a member of Seafood Industry Australia and provide a two per cent commission to SIA on any new business generated with members. Your choice to use Integra helps SIA to further support you as a member.
Integra offers a broad range of products and services including:
• Cleaning and sanitising chemicals
• Water treatment chemicals for cooling towers, chiller systems and boilers
• Waste water and water re-use treatment chemicals and equipment
• Shelf-life extenders
• Dutrion tablets (chlorine dioxide) – for use in sanitising potable water and ice
• Corrosion inhibitors / dispersants for seawater cooling systems
• High performance / high temperature greases (including food grade)
• Industrial chemicals such as degreasers and hand-cleaners
To discuss your needs, contact Peter Jones General Manager – Victoria on 0410 816 631 and mention Seafood Industry Australia. www.integrawater.com.au