Why you should ban microbeads
You’re killing the sea with your scrub. Stop it
Seaweed Pore-Cleansing Facial Exfoliator, Rs 1,495, The Body Shop
Micro Polish Cleanser, Rs 2,200, Ren
If you waste water with abandon, couldn’t care less about recycling or segregating your trash, and treat global warming as just another reason to crank up the aircon, you may want to go read another article.
For the others, if you’ve been tuned in to the latest beauty news doing the rounds, Illinois, US, has banned the sale of cosmetics using microbeads. You’ve probably heard of them before – only every other scrub and face wash boasted about it as a key ingredient until a few weeks ago; now, not so much. These tiny beads of plastic make your scrub or wash grainy and help with exfoliation, but like most plastic, they’re not biodegradable. This plastic waste is really fine, and escapes the sewage filtering, ending up in water, and unfortunately, inside aquatic wildlife.
According to a report published by the UN Environment Programme, plastic waste causes $13 billion in loss every year to marine life – including DNA damage and death. Another report says that plastic waste stays inside mussels for 48 days. Microbead-stuffed clams, anyone?
Following the Illinois ban, other states in the US, like New York, California and Ohio, are to follow suit, which is prompting the major players (L’Oréal, Johnson & Johnson and Unilever are some who have issued statements) to get with the eco plan. Helping spread awareness is Beat the Micro Bead – a campaign launched by The Plastic Soup Foundation – which is encouraging brands to stop using non-biodegradable ingredients in their products. With their new app, it’s also helping people identify and ban eco-hazardous products (or just look out for the words polyethylene or polypropylene in the ingredient list).
Yes, we know. Why give up your favourite scrub for a fish? Because by the looks of it, it’ll be out of the market soon, so you’d best learn to live without it. And when there are so many better, sea-friendlier options to choose from, why pick the fish-killing ones?
Check out the slideshow for a few of our favourite no-plastic scrubs.
Daily Microfoliant, Rs 3,495, Dermalogica
Botanical Gentle Facial Buffing Cream, Rs 5,000, Sisley
Kumkumadi Brightening Ayurvedic Face Scrub, Rs 795, Kama Ayurveda