World Ocean’s Day is June 8th, and this year’s theme is “Healthy oceans, healthy planet”. It’s been a while since we’ve discussed plastic pollution here on the blog, so in the spirit of World Ocean’s Day 2016, we wanted to reinstate a serial post called Breakup with Plastic, Makeup with the Ocean.
In these short periodic posts, we will provide a tip as to how you can reduce, reuse or recycle your plastic wares.
Tip 4 – Eliminate the use of beauty and personal care products containing plastic microbeads.
First, what are microbeads? Microbeads are tiny plastic balls that are used in some cosmetic exfoliators, body washes, facial washes, scrubs, toothpastes and other products.
Why are microbeads bad? Microbeads are a major source of plastic pollution in our oceans, lakes and other bodies of water. Due to their minute size, they are not filtered out of the wastewater at sewage treatment plants. Also, they act as toxin absorbers, causing harm when they are inevitably ingested by marine life. Eventually these tiny spheres move up the food chain, and we all know what that means for human who consume fish.
How can I determine that my products are microbead free? By 2017, it will be illegal to manufacture and sell a cosmetic product containing microbeads in the United States. Until then, or if you live in an area that has not banned microbeads, become a label-reading sleuth. Look for the ingredients polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene, nylon or polymethlyl methacrylate, especially when purchasing products which claim to exfoliate or deep clean the skin.
Plastic pollution of our oceans may be a HUGE issue, but small changes CAN and DO help. Please remember that your actions add up.
More about World Ocean’s Day 2016
This year World Ocean’s Day is organizing a Better Bag Challenge. By taking the challenge, you promise not to take any disposable plastic bags for a whole year. You can share your commitment on social media using the hashtag #BetterBagChallenge.