It’s easy to think that it’s only the big things that impact on the planet – how much energy we use, how much water we consume and so on. Sometimes it’s the discreet things that make an impression too, simply by many small amounts accumulating into a serious problem. The cosmetic industry’s current fashion to include microbeads in their products is contributing to both our ‘plastic seas’ and killing wildlife.
The minute polyethylene particles slip through filtering systems, as our waste goes out to sea, and then are gorged on by hungry aquatic life. The plastic joins other synthetic waste, which also does not biodegrade, and forms artificial sand swirling around the seabed. The reason cosmetic companies have moved to using plastic particles, instead of traditional organic materials, is down to cost – no surprise there!
If the inclusion of these tiny beads alarms you, then boycott buying any cosmetics that contain them, and together our joint effort will make a big difference.