Did you know how bad microbeads are for the environment?
First of all, what are plastic microbeads? Microbeads are defined in the US law as any solid plastic particle less than 5mm in size and intended to be used to exfoliate or cleanse, and eventually end up in our waterways. Your conventional products like shower gels and toothpaste usually contain these plastic bits, but they are harming and killing wildlife and biodiversity.
The real problem comes from people being completely unaware that they are pouring tiny plastic beads down the ocean, after you wash your face or scrub your body, these plastic microbeads go down the drain and pass through water filtration systems. Then, they end up in rivers, lakes and in the sea and harming the marine life that ingests the microbeads.
"Why this is such a problem is that we know that plastic in the ocean and in the waters attracts chemicals," explains Anna Cummins, executive director and cofounder of 5Gyres, a nonprofit organization at the forefront of the Ban the Bead! project. "Plastic is also made with chemicals, and those chemicals dip into the tissues of organisms that eat those plastic particles and then work their way up the food chain" she added.
More than 280 marine species are known to ingest microplastics, a number that is only going to grow. And the damage they cause is becoming increasingly clear. Since humans are ultimately at the top of this food chain it is likely that we also eat these tiny plastic particles.
Waste consultant, Eunomia, says about 130,000 tones of plastic from paint on buildings ends up in the ocean every year, and some 80,000 tones from road paint, this is quite considerably more than the 35,000 tones that come from cosmetics.
Scientists and environmentalists have successfully lobbied to have the industry to stop using plastic microbeads in all rinse-off cosmetic. UK, USA and Canada banned products microbeads from sale by the end of 2017, but in many countries, you can still find microbeads in cosmetics products.
There are a lot of natural alternatives and not toxic to not use microbeads, such as jojoba beads, oatmeal, sea salt, apricot seeds, rice, walnut shells, powdered pecan shells, among others are biodegradable and suppose no harm to marine life. And they are as effective as exfoliators, natural and do not pollute the environment.
If you already have a product at home that contains microbeads and now you want to get rid of it you have two options, send the product back to the manufacturer and tell them why you decided to return it and that you will stop buying this product as long as it includes microplastics and the second option would be to dispose of your products in the regular house-trash. It will be taken to a landfill or will be incinerated. Maybe these aren’t the eco-friendliest options, but at least will not end up in the ocean.
It’s everyone’s responsibility to avoid contamination of our nature, you can start by not buying any products with microbeads, reducing disposable plastic use, don’t use plastic straws with any drink, choosing eco-friendly beauty products, carry a refillable coffee cup, water bottles with you, use a reusable lunch boxes and utensils. Our Mother Earth will thank you.
Ammaterre skincare is way ahead of the game. We have never followed popular trends like including plastic microbeads and we will never follow any trend that can harm humans and our Mother Earth. Our brand is committed to the care of the environment, this is why the formulation of our products is 100% natural and vegan.