March 20 – Micro Beads

Genesis 1:26 New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings so that they are like us. Let them rule over the fish in the seas and the birds in the sky. Let them rule over the livestock and all the wild animals. And let them rule over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

What are micro beads and what is the problem with them?

What are plastic microbeads? 
Microbeads are really tiny plastic particles usually smaller than two millimeters.  The composition of microbeads can vary and often include polyethylene (PE) or nylon. Bottom line, it’s all plastic!

What products contain plastic microbeads? 
Plastic microbeads are in face soaps, body washes, and even toothpastes. They are sometimes included in “age-defying” makeup (yes, filling in wrinkles with plastic dust!), as well as lip gloss and nail polish. Most wastewater treatment doesn’t filter out microbeads, and they get discharged into waterways. As a result, micro-plastic particles are found in seas worldwide, as well as inland waterways

Does microbead pollution impact us? 
Could the plastic you’re washing your face with end up in your sushi? Crazy, but yes. Fish species that humans harvest for food have been known to eat micro-plastic particles at an alarming rate and the toxins absorbed in those plastics transfer to the fish tissue

Plastic microbeads absorb persistent organic pollutants (long-lasting toxic chemicals like pesticides, flame retardants, motor oil and more) and other industrial chemicals that move up the food chain when the toxic-coated beads are consumed by fish and other marine organisms. A single microbead can be up to a million times more toxic than the water around it!

How do I know if I’m washing my face or brushing my teeth with plastic?
Most people have no idea that those little beads are actually bits of plastic! If you see any of the following ingredients: polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate or polymethyl methacrylate you’re cleaning up with plastic and being duped into contributing to plastic pollution in the environment—yikes!

What’s happening to put a stop to plastic microbeads?
Several countries including USA and the UK have banned them

Why won’t the personal care products industry swap the plastic out for natural substitute?  
This question is kind of hard to answer because (surprise!) industry isn’t being real forthcoming about why they want to substitute one kind of plastic for another. Companies want to keep the plastic in their products because it’s cheap and easy to source. But more importantly, plastic microbeads are smoother than natural alternatives like apricot shells, jojoba beans, and pumice. Why is smoother “better”? Smoother means these cleansers will be less effective at exfoliating, which means you can use them everyday, which means they want you to buy more of their Stuff!

Watch the video to learn more!

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