What are microbreads and where can we find them?
Microbeads are manufactured solid plastic particles of less than five millimeters in their largest dimension. They are most frequently made of polyethylene, but can be of other petrochemical plastics such as polypropylene and polystyrene. They are used in exfoliating personal care products, toothpastes and in biomedical and health-science research.
Why should we avoid them?
Unfortunately, microbeads are non-biodegradable so they don’t break down properly. Since sewage systems are not designed to remove microplastic they remain in the water. Microbeads are contributing to the massive issue of marine litter which is causing real problems to marine life. Microbeads can cause plastic particle water pollution and pose an environmental hazard for aquatic animals in freshwater and ocean water.
How to avoid microbeads getting into our water?
- Avoid personal care products containing polyethylene –mainly body scrubs, exfoliators, toothpaste.
- Avoid clothing made from synthetic fibres, especially polyester, which sheds hundreds of microscopic fibres when washed.
- Keep plastics, such as plastic bags and bottles out of waterways.
- Use JOIK scrubs since they do not contain any harmful microbeads 🙂
Reportedly Coles & Woolworths, Australia’s two largest supermarket chains, have both committed to completely suspend the sale of any products including microbeads by the end of 2017, what should definitely help us all in avoiding them :)!
How often do you use products with microbeads and are you planning to stop using them?