Target: Josh Frydenberg, Environment Minister of Australia
Goal: Ban the manufacture and sale of microbeads in all products nationwide.
The Great Barrier Reef is under threat from billions of microbeads draining into the ocean. Microbeads are tiny bits of plastic commonly used in beauty products and some household items such as laundry detergent. Their impact on the environment was not known until relatively recently, when it was discovered that these beads pose a threat to wildlife.
Because they are not biodegradable and too small to be caught by most filters, they accumulate en masse in the ocean, where they are often mistakenly consumed by fish and other marine life. These bits of plastic are dangerous and completely unnecessary, yet most countries, including Australia, have not taken action to ban them.
Australia’s failure to ban microbeads is especially concerning because of its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the most beautiful, diverse, and fragile ecosystems in the world. It is home to over 1,500 species of fish, not to mention countless other species, including about a third of the planet’s soft corals. Sadly, factors like over-fishing, climate change, and pollution are severely impacting the health and biodiversity of this precious ecosystem, and more needs to be done to protect it. Banning microbeads would be an important step toward reducing harmful debris.
Under current laws, Australian companies have the option of voluntarily phasing out microbeads from their products by July of next year, but this option is problematic. Action needs to be taken to protect the Great Barrier Reef as soon as possible, and there is no guarantee that all companies will comply. The safest and most effective course of action is to pass a law banning microbeads as soon as possible. Demand that microbeads be banned from Australia in an effort to protect the Great Barrier Reef and its surrounding ecosystems and wildlife.
Dear Honourable Josh Frydenberg,
Your predecessor, Greg Hunt, spoke passionately about the need to ban microbeads from Australia, yet the Australian government has failed to take action on this issue. Waiting for companies to voluntarily phase out this harmful ingredient is inefficient and may be putting Australia’s ecosystems at a higher risk of irreversible damage.
As the home of the Great Barrier Reef, one of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems in the world, Australia has an especially great obligation to impose strict environmental regulations. There is no telling whether all companies will voluntarily phase out microbeads by July of next year, and time is too precious to waste when it comes to protecting the environment.
The Great Barrier Reef is extraordinarily fragile and is degrading at a rapid rate due to pollution and other factors. Any action that can possibly be taken to preserve and restore this iconic ecosystem must be taken sooner rather than later. I must strongly urge you to implement a ban as soon as possible for the sake of the Great Barrier Reef and all the other delicate ecosystems and wildlife that call Australia’s waters home.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Steve Parish