Microplastic in cosmetics is killing marine life

Divya Kapila

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Microplastic in cosmetics is killing marine life

Tiny particles of plastic litter in oceans causing deaths, stunted growth and altering behaviour of some fish that feed on them, research shows.

Micro plastics are tiny little plastic beads less than 1mm in size causing very big problems for our waterways. They are are added to facial scrubs, cleansers, exfoliants, toothpastes and soaps by cosmetics companies to act as a scrub.

There are various natural alternatives available, but microplastics are by far the cheapest option for cosmetics companies, hence their alarming proliferation.

According to Greenpeace, one prominent skin care company’s cleanser contains more than 350,000 microplastic in one bottle.

That’s just one bottle, from one company. If you do the math, it’s not difficult to see how microplastic, which are not biodegradable, have quickly become a menace.

The beads are so small they pass through water treatment plants and into waterways, where worms and fish mistake them for food. This is bad news for the organism that eats it, but also for every other organism in the food chain, including the larger aquatic predators.

It’s also likely that microplastic in cosmetics work their way up the food chain to humans. So if you eat fish, there’s a good chance you’re eating plastic. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Check the label of your personal care products for microplastics. Look for the words: polyethylene, polypropylene and polyethylene terephthalate.
  • Download the Beat the microplastics app here. All you do is scan the barcode of the product with your smartphone’s camera and it will tell you if it contains microbeads.
  • Use organic skin care and personal care products that use natural alternatives to microbeads such as plastic free glitter, spherical jojoba beads, bamboo stem particles, sea salt, sugar, coconut husks, coffee beans, grain powders, nut and seed meals.

If you are looking for an alternative, try our exfoliating facial soap or body scrubs, they all contains natural exfoliants like coconut, coffee, adzuki beans, gram flour, almonds and ground rice.

 


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