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Boreal Community Media

Video: University students raise awareness on microplastics and their impact on the Great Lakes

Nov 28, 2018 06:31AM ● By Editor

MARQUETTE-- Microplastics are small plastic pieces less than five millimeters long. An example would be the tiny plastic beads you see in face washes and skin care products.

"That get eventually washed down the drain that pass through waste water treatment plants and then they get into our lakes and then fish eat them and then we eat the fish and it ultimately affects the ecosystem and humans," said NMU student Molly Gaudreau. 

Four students in Jessica Thompson's Environmental Campaign class at NMU are using this issue to bring awareness. With living right by Lake Superior, The students decided that they wanted to do a topic that hits home and means something to the community.

"The students come in at the beginning of the semester," said Thompson. "We identify issues of concern for the community, the region and then they get to take that and going through a series research, exercises, figure out the best approach for engaging a wider public."

The students are doing this in a creative way. They are hoping to set up an eco-art exhibit next semester.

"Basically just create art," said Trysten Loos, NMU student. " Take things that are harming the environment and turn them into beautiful art."

The group will need a little help with the exhibit to get it running. They plan on asking people to donate microbead or microplastic-containing products.

"I'm thinking they can take these products and put them together in their paints and maybe give it a more abstract look." said NMU student Megan Martin. "When people walk into this gallery they're like, 'Wow. These are all of our plastics that we donated and instead of going into the water, it's coming here."

They hope this campaign will have a domino effect.

"Somebody will be like, "Oh well maybe we can replace this and maybe they'll just keep replacing, inventing and changing the policies and everything," said Alana McLeod, student, NMU.

For more information on microplastics and the effort to keep them out of the water, click here.

To read the original story and see related stories, follow this like to the website.

Watch the news report here on the NMU students project.

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