Image courtesy of Georgian Bay Forever.

Georgian Bay Forever is recruiting volunteers in town.

Environment Canada, Georgian Bay Forever and the University of Toronto Rochman Lab are all involved in conducting a study pertaining to microplastics in waterways.

Georgian Bay Forever is asking 100 people to volunteer their washing machines to install filters that remove microfibres and particles.

“Those filters can stay with the household at no charge or they can be removed which is entirely covered by the project funding,” said Amber Gordon, Director of Development with Georgian Bay Forever.

Volunteers who qualify will have the filter installed for free on their washing machine and participate in the collection and measurement of the waste from their laundry. It is a two-year project to discover how many plastic microfibres can be diverted from Georgian Bay.

“As human beings, we use so much plastic and what we don’t know is that it ends up in our waterways and in our atmosphere and really ends up everywhere. In fact, it’s being found in fish of different species. The University of Toronto has sampled fish in Lake Ontario and found microplastics in the form of microfibres in every single fish that they sampled. It’s in our fish, it’s in water, it’s in tap water and we need to reduce it so that we’re not literally consuming our own garbage,” added Heather Sargeant, Communications Director with Georgian Bay Forever.

Sargeant says that we don’t actually know if consuming microplastics is harmful to humans because studies on the effects of microplastics have not caught up to the rate in which humans pollute.

Georgian Bay Forever estimated that a person may consume 5,800 plastic particles annually and these particles are capable of absorbing other toxic chemicals from the environment and the impacts are still unknown.

Recruitment is on now until July. Applicants can reach out to Georgian Bay Forever by phone, (905)880-4945 or by email,  info@gbf.org.