City of St. Paul Park 

on the Mississippi


North America’s Great Lakes now confront potential threat that few even imagined until recently:  microplastic pollution

Experts say it is unclear how long microplastic pollution has been in the lakes, or how it is affecting the environment.  Studies are under way to determine whether fish are eating the particles.  Many particles are perfectly round.   The scientists suspect they are abrasive “microbeads” used in personal care products such as facial and body washes and toothpaste.  They are so minuscule that they flow through screens at waste treatment plants and wind up in the lakes.   

At the urging of scientists and advocates, some big companies have agreed to phase them out.  Until then, you can help by not purchasing products containing microbeads, polyethylene, or abrasive toothpastes. 

Until research is completed, it won’t be clear whether the microplastic pollution will affect fishing guidelines.

City of St. Paul Park, 600 Portland Avenue, St. Paul Park MN 55071