My brother George sits on the board for the charity 5 Gyres, whose mission is to “empower citizens to become leaders in combating the global health crisis of plastic pollution.” Once he informed me on the importance of this issue, I knew I had to do something to help spread awareness.
When it comes to washing your face, body or teeth do you use products with tiny colored beads in them? I’ll be honest… before this issue was brought to my attention I was an offender of using Johnson & Johnson Clean and Clear with micro-scrubbers, as well as Crest 3D-Whitening.
If you’re using products like these, chances are when you use them you don’t think about what happens once they wash down into the drain.
What are Microbeads?
Those little colored beads inside many beauty products such as facial scrub, body wash and toothpaste are microbeads which are made from polyethylene and polypropylene. A few years back companies decided to add them to beauty products instead of using natural exfoliate.
Why are Microbeads an Issue?
Not only do you ingest these microbeads and rub them on your face, but they are going into the ocean.
You can choose to recycle other types of plastic; but microbeads go straight down the drain, through sewer systems and often end up in rivers, lakes and waterways.
Here are a couple statistics provided by 5 Gyres:
“One tube of facial scrub can contain more than 300,000 plastic microbeads”. That means if ONE person uses four tubes a year, that’s 1.2 million beads into the ocean in a year.
“There are approximately 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean; 92% of them are microplastics.”
“Over 663 species of marine wildlife are affected by plastic pollution through ingestion or entanglement.”
Microplastics are too small to be removed through standard water filtration, and are being ingested by organisms that live in the water. Not only are microbeads impacting marine wildlife, but they are also ending up back on the dinner table.
What’s being done to stop microbeads?
Last year President Obama signed a bill that will ban the manufacturing of them in products starting Jan 1, 2018 with an additional year run off time for them to sit on shelves.
What can I do to help?
Although the bill has been signed to ban microbeads, in the US alone 3 trillion beads are estimated to be used every day…2 more years is a lot of plastic!
This is NOT a sponsored post, I’m just very passionate about this issue and want to help spread awareness!