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Ocean Plastic Pollution Costs $13 Billion a Year, and Your Face Scrub Is Part of the Problem

Researchers for the first time have put a price tag on the environmental damage done by the millions of tons of plastic floating around the world’s oceans: $13 billion a year.

They added that consumers can do their part to alleviate the problem. One place to start: Avoid personal care products containing polymer microbeads.

Two reports released last week at the first United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi paint a troubling picture but also describe feasible—even profitable—uses of postconsumer plastic to help keep it out of the environment. The Plastic Disclosure Project and Trucost, an environmental data firm, produced the papers with support from the U.N. Environmental Program.

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