The uncanny issue with microbeads.
We all want the best for our skin, and are willing to get the products that offer us just that. However, many products that are excellent for us may be less so for the environment.
We’re talking about microbeads.
These little exfoliating balls contained in scrubs, body wash and even toothpaste are harmful to marine life and aquatic environments. Many health & beauty organisations in NZ have stopped using microbeads due to the high risk to the marine ecosystem.
What makes microbeads harmful?
These tiny (1mm diameter at most) non-biodegradable plastic beads pass through our water filtration systems and eventually to our rivers and oceans as litter. Smaller fish ingest these microbeads instead of food - this affects their maturity and lifespan. Ultimately, harming the marine food chain and ecosystem.
Globally, 10,000 tonnes worth of plastic microbeads are used in healthcare products every year. But New Zealand amongst other countries is on its way to have them (and other plastic substances) banned in cosmetic and healthcare products. Organisations such as Foodstuffs, The Body Shop and Johnson & Johnson have taken an early start of removing microbeads from their products. New Zealand will be looking to ban these non-biodegradable plastics by 2018!
It’s always best to use natural healthcare & beauty products that are environmentally sustainable.
If you’re interested or concerned that your beauty products may contain microbeads or other microplastics, check out http://www.beatthemicrobead.org/product-lists/