Earlier this year, the UK banned
microbeads from cosmetics, amid warnings that the minuscule plastic particles were being ingested by aquatic life, causing poisoning, infertility, and genetic disruption in species ranging from the tiniest plankton to the most massive and majestic whales. The US currently has a partial ban
on microbeads in place. A recent study
out of Plymouth University found that more than a third
of all fish now contain plastic, with one study estimating
that there are more than 5 trillion plastic pieces, weighing over 250,000 tons, scattered across the world's oceans. What's more, it was reported in September
that plastic fibers have been found in 83% of tap-water samples worldwide, leading to calls for scientists to figure out how this directly impacts human health.