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We would like to take 3 minutes of your day to talk about micro plastics.
What are microbeads and what is their function?
Microbeads are tiny plastic particles that are added to personal care products. They are commonly used to scrub the skin or clean your teeth. Microbeads is a marketing term introduced by the cosmetic industry.
In what kind of cosmetics can we find micro plastic ingredients?
Micro plastic ingredients are applied in a wide variety of cosmetics like deodorants, shower gel, hair spray, eye shadow, sunscreen, shaving cream and scrubs. In general, industry is phasing out plastic particles to scrub with, often described as microbeads
Are micro plastics toxic?
Yes and No. As an ingredient in cosmetics, industry claims that micro plastics are not toxic and safe to use. However, there are doubts about nanoplastic ingredients used in products like sunscreen. Nanoplastic ingredients may easily penetrate skin due to their extreme small size. Also micro plastic ingredients in the sea absorb toxic chemicals as if they are little magnets. The particles become polluted and are eaten by fish and other sea animals.
What are the effects of micro plastics in the environment?
Micro plastics have a damaging effect on marine life, since marine animals often mistake them for food. They are passed along the marine food chain and since we as humans are ultimately at the top of this food chain, it is likely that we also eat them. Also plastic particles are not biodegradable and once they enter the marine environment, they are impossible to remove. Hence the tiny particles ultimately contribute to the plastic soup swirling around the world’s oceans.
How do I dispose products that I already have at home which contain micro plastics?
Unfortunately, there is no 'correct' way to dispose products containing micro plastic ingredients. We always recommend two options: either sending the product back to the manufacturer, telling why you decided not to use the product and that you will stop buying this product as long as they use plastic ingredients; the other option would be to dispose your products in the regular house-trash. It will be taken to a landfill or will be incinerated. These are, of course, the less environmentally friendly option. But at least the micro plastics will not end up in the oceans.
Content provided by: Beat the Micro Bead
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