Airsoft Pellets a threat to wildlife

Pender Island parks, beaches & trail users are becoming concerned about finding 6mm Airsoft pellets scattered not only on trails but throughout the forest & other ecosystems.  Shooting Airsoft pellets is not only a safety hazard for unsuspecting visitors to these areas, but these plastic pellets present a serious impact upon wildlife, and birds in particular.  Conventional pellets pollute the natural environment because they're made with a mineral or petroleum-based centre that is coated in non-biodegradable plastics. While biodegradable pellets are available, some of these take up to a year to break down. We encourage everyone to preserve & protect our forests, lands, trails, and marine waters for all species, so please limit this type of recreational activity to the indoors only – for the sake of all species, large & small.


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Like the ubiquitous microbeads (1 -5mm) used in cosmetics, and enormous numbers of plastic bags discarded worldwide, they aggregate faster than they can break down, helping to produce the vast plastic Gyres in the world's oceans, finding their way into the gullets of sea birds, fish and other animals.  The even greater threat is that as plastic breaks down, it doesn't return to its constituent elements, it just gets smaller and smaller.  It doesn't "go away" and we don't have the science nor historical evidence of what that will mean to all life forms.

Read: The California Microbead law

Plastic trash kills sea animals; turtles, whales, birds and fish. Some plastic trash is intentionally created micro-particles added to products like toothpaste and soap, for the purpose of increasing the cleaning power of these products. Then the particles pass through sewage treatment and flow to the sea. Scent binders and antibacterial soaps create parallel stresses for Earth's life support systems.

Plastic micro-particles also result from solar disintegration. Both micro-particle types look like plankton in oceans and lakes, where they collect pollution molecules.  Animals that eat the plastic “plankton” absorb the pollution and pass clean plastic back into the water, where it collects a new load of pollution ions and is eaten again.  A more efficient method of introducing pollution into the human diet is difficult to imagine.

Microplastics: scientific evidence  

International Campaign Against Microbeads in Cosmetics