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Ban on Microbeads

by Emily Colon January 26, 2016

Ban on Microbeads

Have you ever used those shower gel or facial cleansers that have tiny little beads in them? Did you know those tiny little beads were actually bits of plastic?  Did you further know that in December of 2015  President Barack Obama signed a bipartisan bill which will prohibit the selling and distributing of products containing microbeads. The purpose of this bill is to protect the nations oceans and waterways. 
IMAGE: TARGET, WALGREENS, WALGREENS
These tiny bits of plastic are in all sorts of products, facial cleansers and shower gels. They are meant to give the consumer an exfoliating sensation and wash down the drain, but they are not biodegradable. This means they are filling up our oceans.
Photo courtesy of 5 Gyres
Top-name brand products have been adding these microbeads into scores of products, even toothpaste and they've been doing it for decades.
Why would we want to swallow little bits of plastic?  That can't be good for us.  It's not good for any living thing and it certainly is not good for what is left of our oceanic wildlife.
According to a study published by Environmental Science & Technology, more than 8 trillion microbeads are entering the country's aquatic habitats daily. The volume is enough to coat the surface of 300 tennis courts EVERY DAY. That's over 864,000 Sq ft. every day.
Photo courtesy of 5 Gyres

This infographic by 5 Gyres Institute says that just one tube of facewash contains 330,000 microbeads and some 1,147 personal care products contain microbeads. 

If we think it just disappears when it goes down the drain, we are gravely mistaken.

This cartoon by Steve Greenberg best depicts the life cycle of the microbeads. 

cartoon by Steve Greenberg

Marine life ingest these tiny bits of plastic mistaking it for food and well that becomes food for larger animals such as us. And this isn't an isolated incident.  If you are curious about plastic and it's affects on the ocean and marine life just do a quick search for "plastic in fish," or check out 5 Gyres its an excellent resource to learn more about what the state of our oceans are and how we can take action. http://www.5gyres.org/  

This bill will hopefully help keep our oceans a bit cleaner and save several hundreds of species, but it doesn't take effect immediately.  Many of these products are still on the shelves and selling in stores near you.

There are many wonderful ways to get an exfoliating clean without the plastic. Salt scrubs have been used for centuries and there are many other foods that provide a safe, organic and fully exfoliating clean that are 100% naturally biodegradable. 

Simple Face Scrub Recipe (for normal-to-dry skin):

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp almond meal

1/8 tsp raw sugar

For sensitive or acne skin a gentler and less abrasive scrub on the skin is best. Gentle

Scrub Recipe (sensitive / acne skin):

1/4 tsp flax meal

1/8 tsp almond meal

1/8 tsp brewer's yeast

Of course if you if want the ready-made goodness of all these wonderful ingredients try our Gentle Daily Face Scrub.  It contains only food grade ingredients, many of the ingredients listed in the above recipes, which make it actually edible and 100% safe to go down the drain.

 

http://www.tierramiaorganics.com/collections/face/products/gentle-daily-face-scrub

 References: 
http://www.thefashionspot.com/buzz-news/latest-news/417009-microbeads-are-hurting-the-environment/
http://time.com/74956/states-are-cracking-down-on-face-wash/
http://www.slashgear.com/us-to-ban-all-soap-with-microbeads-11418115/
http://www.5gyres.org/



Emily Colon
Emily Colon

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