Thousands of tonnes of plastic microbeads from products such as exfoliating face scrubs and toothpastes wash into the sea every year.
Environment threats are a part of newspapers, blogs, posts on a daily basis but the current threat is posed by cosmetic essential- “microbeads”
Microbeads are itty-bitty plastic orbs that can be found in exfoliating facial scrubs, shower gels and toothpaste. They are a part of micro plastic or pieces of plastic less than five millimetres. They are tiny, colourful and harmless looking, but these little pellets are being blamed for causing big problems for the world’s oceans and seas.These exist elsewhere too, they can be found in chewing gum, industrial cleaning products, synthetic clothing fibres and tires.
Why are they in cosmetics? :
Manufacturers including “johnson and johnson & procter and gamble” have advertised the exfoliating powers of microbeads, particularly in face and body scrubs. Many of these companies have pledged to voluntarily phase out use of pellets. After being aware of the potential impact of microbeads, several steps have already been taken to restrict them. In the meantime you can avoid further water contamination by checking the ingredients in your favourite brand of exfoliating cleanser. If the list includes polyethylene, the plastic used in microbeads, you might want to leave that scrub on the shelf!!
They are in face soaps, body washes, and even toothpastes. They are sometimes included in “age-defying”makeup (yes, filling in wrinkles with plastic dust!),as well as lip gloss and nail polish. Most wastewater treatment don’t filter them and hence they are found in bays,gulfs and seas worldwide.
Ban the bead!!
Manufacturing ban means the tiny beads which harm marine life can no longer be used in cosmetics and personal care products. The huge problem of plastic pollution choking the oceans have gained a high profile due to recent revelations that there are five trillion pieces of plastics floating in world seas and oceans. Mihaylova, at “flora and fauna international” said, “we are delighted that robust uk microbeads ban came into force”
Could the plastic you’re washing your face with end up in your sushi? Crazy, but yes fish species that humans harvest for food have been known to eat micro plastics and toxin transfer to the fish tissue. These absorb persistent organic pollutants and other industrial waste.
“Microbeads linger-the one in our oceans will be there for centuries and they’re still permitted in products other than rinse-off cosmetics” said tisha brown, a campaigner for greenpeace in britain. Chris flower, the director general of the cosmetic, toiletry and perfumery association said in an email that most of the industry had already phased out microplastics in rinse-off products. For the sustenance of flora and fauna and if human is selfish then it’s for his betterment too to stop using such products and support the “eco-friendly” environment (avoiding sarcasm).