VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – An environmental group is calling on the province to investigate plastic pellet spills, after it says it found hundreds of thousands of the tiny items washed up on the Fraser River.
Surfrider Foundation Canada is laying blame on plastic industry manufacturers who use plastic pellets, which look like little beads, to make bags, bottles, containers, and other packaging.
“To make these, they start out as oil or gas, and they’re solidified into a pellet,” researcher David Boudinot says in a video made by the group. “They’re made in this shape so that they melt easily and they flow easily. They’re easy to ship and they’re easy to melt.”
Boudinot believes spills at plastics manufacturing sites result in the pellets ending up in parking lots and roads. They then move into storm drains, before ending up into the waterways.
The foundation has been researching pre-consumer plastic production pellet spills for three years. It’s hoping the government will investigate the group’s findings, and bring in more regulation.
“We think it should be law that plastic production facilities should use storm drain covers in their parking lots and on their properties,” he says.
Surfrider Foundation Canada has identified and mapped areas in parts of B.C. where it says it’s found plastic pellets washing up on the shore.
It says the tiny bead-like plastics have been found around Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the San Juan Islands, the Sunshine Coast, and the Lower Mainland.