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Microbeads: More than Just a Facial Scrub

Update: On October 8, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 888, which bans the sale of personal care products containing plastic microbeads. Microbead bans passed in other states have included loopholes which allowed companies to continue to use plastic particles in personal care products, so long as those plastics were deemed biodegradable. California's law now becomes the strongest microbead ban in the nation.

It's a new kind of plastic that is too small to recycle and too tiny to filter out of our waste water. They are called microbeads. Thousands of them are put into skin cleansers, exfoliates and even toothpaste. They end up in our oceans, consumed by fish and coral and adding to the huge gyres of plastic that are floating in our oceans. Reporter Derrick Shore meets two Culver City environmentalists who are on a crusade to raise public awareness of microbead pollution, and persuade manufacturers to stop using them.

Additional Links:

REDEFINE: 6 Reasons That Floating Ocean Plastic Cleanup Gizmo is a Horrible Idea

Featuring Interviews With:

  • Anna Cummins, executive director and co-founder, 5 Gyres Institute
  • Marcus Eriksen, Ph.D., director of research and co-founder, 5 Gyres
  • Keith Christman, American Chemistry Council
  • Mark Gold, director, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

For the Record: This story has been updated to reflect the American Chemistry Council's position that microbeads cannot be recycled and there is not currently any type of microbead that is biodegradable. An earlier version of this story did not make that clear.

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Coyote Controversy, Urban Beekeeping, Taxidermy

Season 7, Episode 1

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Dangerous Drones, 54 Kitchens, Board Games

More than a million drones have taken flight in the air above us. But they're proving to be dangerous. Authorities say it times to start regulating them. In a simple brick building in Lincoln Heights 54 kitchens and 54 chefs are making unique foods. They couldn't afford their own commercial kitchen, so they've come to LA Prep to scale up their business for a fraction of the cost and half the time. In a digital world full of endless entertainment options, find out why people have rediscovered their love of the old-fashioned board game.

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Season 7 Episode 32

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Mountain Lions, 'The Nomad,' Service Dogs

Season 7, Episode 4

The story of two mountain lions trying to survive in an urban environment. 

An artist who is losing her sight has created an exquisite tiny house.

Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are finding help managing their symptoms in man's best friend.

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Season 7 Episode 35

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