We now have a date for the banning of microbeads in the UK – from 30th June 2018, you will no longer be able to purchase personal care products or cosmetics that contain microplastics. But until then, you will have to do a little work to make sure that you are not accidentally buying a plastic laden product. It should be rather simple, but of course, no product is going to emblazon the fact that is contains such damaging ingredients as microplastics or microbeads on the front of the label. No. You need to do a little investigation…
Look for products that state they have 100% natural scrubs in, such as the Original Source scrub range (which use almond shell fragments instead), or products by ethical manufacturers, such as Lush, who do a magnificent range of plastic free alternatives and offer refill and low packaging options.
Shower scrubs and face scrubs are quite easy. The harder ones to seek out are the microbeads in toothpaste. So – turn the packet over and look at the ingredients. If you see any of the below, you will likely have a product with microbeads in your hands:
– Polyethylene / Polythene (PE)
– Polypropylene (PP)
– Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
– Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)
See any of these? Put the product down. Vote with your wallet and find a better, microbead free alternative. They are there and they are likely to not cost any more than those with plastic in. In fact, some manufacturers are starting to realise the benefits of saying how they are plastic free – so look out for this on packaging.
And of course, there is an app for that too. The Beat the Microbead app, which was previously just available in Europe, now contains information on those products that contain microbeads. Use the app to scan barcodes and find out more about the products…
It is critical that we minimise the plastic that enters our oceans as the damage that it is having on the marine environment is quite staggering and hugely unreported in general media. But as individuals we do not have to feel helpless. We can do our own small part. And personally banning microplastics and microbeads from our homes and workplaces is a great way to start.