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Do You Use Facial Scrub? If So, Read This!

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Do You Use Facial Scrub? If So, Read This!

Marcus Eriksen

Dr. Sylvia Earle with Anna Cummins, Marcus Eriksen and their baby Avani at Blue Ocean Film Festival.

As we move into the Fall season, we're hopping on bikes and cycling 1,400 miles down the east coast for the Last Straw Plastic Pollution Solutions Outreach Tour (see below for a really awesome Trash Challenge where YOU can win prizes from our sponsors). Our goal on the tour is to connect to 50,000 people throughout the month of October and November to show them what 5 Gyres has discovered in our oceans and lakes around the world as well as engage in cleanups down the eastern seaboard. The tour kicks of today in Boston.

We've got some important news to share about plastic pollution upstream in the Great Lakes, the first expedition to study plastics in inland U.S. waters. We've analyzed our data from samples taken in the Great Lakes and what we found is shocking. Microplastic particles, no larger than grains of sand, peppering the lake surface. One sample had more than 600 of them. Yikes! What could they be? After some investigation, we've figured it out. The culprit? Non-natural facial scrub products that employ micro-particle polyethylene beads as an exfoliant. The beads are designed to go from your face down the drain and then to the ocean. We'll be launching a campaign to address this problem in the coming months and we'll need your help to claim another victory for the ocean.

The Great Lakes study demonstrates the 5 Gyres model really well. In a nutshell: we conduct research in places others haven't looked and monitor places that we already know to be polluted, take our scientific data and translate it for the public good through education campaigns, then use our community of passionate, grassroots change agents and ambassadors to drive common sense policy and solutions to plastic pollution. We are the confluence of where science and advocacy meet and the only organization of this kind in the plastic pollution sphere. We don't just produce evidence, we use it to make change.

If you haven't seen our Great Lakes film yet, please check it out.

Reindeers at their winter location in northern Sweden on Feb. 4, 2020, near Ornskoldsvik. JONATHAN NACKSTRAND / AFP via Getty Images

Sweden's reindeer have a problem. In winter, they feed on lichens buried beneath the snow. But the climate crisis is making this difficult. Warmer temperatures mean moisture sometimes falls as rain instead of snow. When the air refreezes, a layer of ice forms between the reindeer and their meal, forcing them to wander further in search of ideal conditions. And sometimes, this means crossing busy roads.

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The Great Lakes, including Lake Michigan, experienced some of their warmest temperatures on record in the summer of 2020. Ken Ilio / Moment / Getty Images

Heatwaves are not just distinct to the land. A recent study found lakes are susceptible to temperature rise too, causing "lake heatwaves," The Independent reported.

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Starfish might appear simple creatures, but the way these animals' distinctive biology evolved was, until recently, unknown. FangXiaNuo / Getty Images

By Aaron W Hunter

A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.

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U.S. President Joe Biden sits in the Oval Office as he signs a series of orders at the White House in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2021. Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

President Joe Biden officially took office Wednesday, and immediately set to work reversing some of former President Donald Trump's environmental policies.

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Erik McGregor / LightRocket / Getty Images

In many schools, the study of climate change is limited to the science. But at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, students in one class also learn how to take climate action.

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