Press Release : Ban the Bead


*Press conference scheduled in an effort to eliminate the sale of hazardous microplastics*

VANCOUVER, B.C., July 17, 2014 – Surfrider Foundation Vancouver (SFV) along with Vancouver MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert, will be holding a press conference at 11am on Wednesday, July 23 to raise awareness of the devastating effects of microbeads. Joining Spencer Chandra Herbert will be Matthew Unger, ocean enthusiast and Chair of SFV. A weather dependant advisory will be sent out to confirm whether the conference will take place on the corner of Denman and Beach Avenue beside Cactus Club. Unger explains that the issue cannot be ignored, “Microbeads show up in our marine environment as they are exfoliating ingredients in many beauty care products (face wash, toothpaste and body wash) and get washed down the drain during use. Microbeads pass through wastewater and sewage treatment plants and enter the ocean where they are ingested by marine life. The toxins and plastic particles make their way back up the food chain and onto our dinner plates. This is a dangerous cycle that will affect human health.” Surfrider’s “Rise Above Plastics” program aims to reduce the impacts of plastic pollution in the marine environment. The foundation’s goal is to work with Herbert to push for a policy change to ban the sale and use of microbeads in Canada – starting with the beautiful province of British Columbia leading the charge. “Europe already has these plastics banned and the U.S. is working on this,” notes Unger. “It’s time Canada seriously considers how these micro beads are effecting our oceans, and us.”

About Surfrider

Surfrider Foundation is a global environmental non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches. Our Vancouver chapter is 100% volunteer run by everyday people like you, and works to ensure the health of our oceans for generations to come.

Contact Information

Matthew Unger
Chair, Surfrider Foundation Vancouver
604 512 1592



VANCOUVER, B.C., July 21, 2014 – Surfrider Foundation Vancouver along with Vancouver MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert invite you to a press conference scheduled in effort to eliminate hazardous microplastics from our oceans.

Date: Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Time: 11 a.m.
Location: The corner of Denman and Beach beside Cactus Club
Vancouver, B.C.

Speakers: Vancouver MLA, Spencer Chandra Herbert
Chair of Surfrider Foundation Vancouver, Matthew Unger

Media kits will be available on site.
Participants will be available for interviews following the event.

About Surfrider

Surfrider Foundation is a global environmental non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches. Our Vancouver chapter is 100% volunteer run by everyday people like you, and works to ensure the health of our oceans for generations to come.

Contact Information
Matthew Unger
Chair, Surfrider Foundation Vancouver
604 512 1592

Wreck Beach Cleanup Saturday July 19th (11am-1pm)

wreck beach graphic  

Hello Surfriders!

Our next beach clean up will be on July 19th at Wreck Beach- Trail 6 from 11am-1pm.  Sign up for the event through Eventbrite and you will be entered to win two tickets to Jack Johnson at Deerlake Park on August 21st!

Eventbrite SIGNUP


Find US on Social Media

Facebook - Twitter - Instagram





kits beach celebration june 8 (large) Location:   Kitsilano Beach and Kitsilano Yacht Club (Vancouver, BC)

Did you know that plastic debris in our oceans kills 1 million sea creatures a year?

Be part of the solution on June 8th and join Surfrider Foundation and our partners for our World Oceans Day Celebration at Kits Beach! Help clean up one of our beautiful local beaches in celebration of this international event. Get ready for games, prizes, and art while making a difference in a fun and easy way. And there’s more -- keep the celebration going with our beach cleanup after-party at Kits Yacht Club. Grab a beer and barbecue while you listen to the cool sounds of local BC band Oceans & Lights.


Learn how you can reduce and reuse to help keep debris out of our oceans with activities and games from Surfrider and our partners, including SPEC, Whole Foods, and CPAWS-BC. Oh, and did we mention you could win cool prizes for testing your trash and ocean knowledge? We’ll be having a variety of activities including scavenger hunts and a stand-up paddle board race presented by Mountain Equipment Co-op open to everyone! Enjoy our beautiful oceans while you compete for great prizes from our sponsors.

Help us protect where you play by cleaning our beach along side talented local artists who will transform the trash collected into works of art. We find the craziest things each month at our beach cleanups -- find the most interesting item of the day and you’ll be awarded a prize from our friends at Sitka.


Don’t miss out on our beach cleanup after-party hosted at Kits Yacht Club. Surfrider Vancouver members and volunteers get in for free, and a limited number of non-member tickets are available for just $10!


Prizes for our beach cleanup competitions earlier in the day will be awarded while you enjoy live music by local BC band Oceans & Lights and a barbecue sponsored by Whole Foods Market and RBC.

Not only that, but our friends at Mountain Equipment Co-op will be letting you test out their standup paddle (SUP) boards to celebrate our beautiful oceans all day long.

Meet and greet with our partners and sponsors at our after-party including the shaper of the custom board you could win in our surfboard membership contest and learn how to get in on the action. All members of Surfrider Foundation (only $25 to join) are automatically entered to win a handcrafted custom surfboard courtesy of Switchblade Surfboards, with 100% of proceeds going to Surfrider Foundation.


Like Us on our  Surfrider FACEBOOK Page

Sign Up and get your BBQ ticket here on our Evenbrite Page



Starbucks, Marriott, Whole Foods Market and RBC Royal Bank.

Rise Above Plastic



















We all want to help protect our oceans, waves, and beaches, but sometimes knowing

where to start can feel a bit difficult. Large plastic bags, bottles, and debris on our

beaches and in our oceans is easy to see. Microplastics, however, pose a greater

challenge, as they are only visible under a microscope. Formed as a consequence of

the breakdown of larger plastic material, microplastics have become a paramount issue

for the marine environment. Resembling phytoplankton, and ingestible by marine life

from shellfish to whales, microplastics have contributed to deleterious effects close to

home. B.C. researches now consider resident killer whales in the Salish sea the most

polluted marine animals on earth.

According to Peter Ross, a former research scientist with the federal Institute of Ocean

Sciences, microplastics are recorded at a mean of 7,630 particles per cubic meter in

Queen Charlotte Sound. Species forming the base of the food web mistakenly ingest

microplastics which can lead to false satiation, causing organisms to starve.

Additionally, it is suggested that when fish and other aquatic species ingest

microplastics, transfer of toxins through the food chain can occur. While this may seem

daunting, many small actions can bring on a large change. Join us in helping to protect

where we play, and rise above plastics!

Rise above plastics mission:

To reduce the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about

the dangers of plastic pollution and by advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics

and the recycling of all plastics

What can you do?

Plastic shows up in all sorts of items from take out containers to personal care products.

Things we use daily like facial cleansers may contain plastic particles, and while they

help to exfoliate our skin, they are harmful to our oceans. Products are rinsed down

the drain and flushed into our oceans. With summer around the corner, here are few

easy things you can do to help reduce your plastic footprint and keep plastics out of our

marine environment.

1)Check product labels for ingredients. Plastics can appear as: Polyethylene /

Polythene (PE), polypropylene (PP) or Polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Download

the “beat the microbead” app, which allows you to scan the

barcode of products for plastic microbeads. Try alternatives such as crushed seeds from

apricots and cocoa beans.

2)Choose to reuse. Opt for cloth shopping bags over plastic, and glass or metal

reusable bottles for water.

3) We all like to get takeout from time to to time, but styrofoam has become a major

problem for our oceans. Fortunately, there are great solutions here in Vancouver. The

Tiffin project, for example, is a non profit on a mission to lessen yearly takeout waste.

Learn more about the Tiffin project here:

4)Bring your own to go mug the next time you get coffee, smoothie or to go beverage.

5)Pack your lunch or beach picnic in a reusable lunch bag or box, rather than plastic

sandwich bags.

6)Get involved. We would love to see you at a beach clean up! Check out or eventbrite

and Facebook and register for one of our upcoming monthly beach cleanups.

7)Support plastic bag bans, polystyrene foam bans and bottle recycling bills.

8)Word of mouth. Spread the word to friends and family about why it is important to

Rise Above Plastics!


Wright, S. L., Thompson, R. C., and Galloway, T. S. (2013). The physical

impacts of microplastics on marine organisms: A review. Environmental

Pollution 178: 483–492.

Browne, M. A., Dissanayake, A., Galloway, T. S., Lowe, D. M., and

Thompson, R.C. (2008). Ingested microscopic plastic translocates to

circulatory system of the mussel, Mytilus edulis (L.). Environmental Sci.

Tech. American Chemical Society: Drake Circus, United Kingdom.

Thompson, R. C., Moore, C. J., vom Saal, F. S., Swan, S. H. (2009). Plastics,

the environment and human health: Current consensus and future trends.

Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 364(1526): 2153-2166.

Rios Mendoza, L. M., and Evans, C. Y. (2013). Plastics are invading not only

the ocean but also the Great Lakes. American Chemical Society meeting,

New Orleans.