Do you use store bought commercial products such as any brand facewash or smooth mint toothpaste? Well if you have much like a majority of the population then you may have unknowingly subjected your skin and may have even ingested microbeads. Microbeads are gross, tiny pieces of plastic that are not only found in day to day products we use, but are also polluting our oceans. Microbeads are unable to be filtered by our sewage systems, meaning they create a high level of ocean pollution and invade the stomachs of marine life.
The state of California is fighting hard to pass a bill that would ban biodegradeable and synthetic plastic beads and hopefully is another state to join in this effort. Currently Maine, New Jersey, Colorado and Illinois are the only states that restrict use of Microbeads. California wants to completely ban the use of microbeads and hopes to have this law passed and come effective by 2020.
Here is the quick run-down of microbeads:
What are microbeads? Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic that are added to everyday cosmetic products face wash, toothpaste, abrasive cleaners and lots more. Microbeads are small enough to easily pass throough water filtration systems.
Where do they end up? New research is continuing to find more and more examples of plastic inside all kinds of sealife as well as in humans through toothpaste and if you eat seafood that has ingested microplastics and the toxins that come with them.
Who’s campaigning and taking action? Canada and America are banning them. Companies like Asda, Avon, the Bodyshop, L’Oreal and Boots are pledging not to use them on their own brand products.
How can you find out if products include microbeads and limit my use of them? You can find a list of companies who are pledging not to use microbeads online and you can check your toothpaste and cleaning products for the use of microbeads. If you want to go all natural, you can also try exfoliating with natural products like kernels, sugar or a wash cloth. Natural is always a great solution when it means not having to worry about the risks associated with products that use harmful and toxic materials. .
So next time you are at your local drug store looking for facial products or toothpaste, just remember to check the ingredients and avoid products when they include the use of polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene.