Look out for old microbeads
While having a sort through our bathroom cupboard I found a body scrub from long-forgotten gift set.
Checking the ingredients ‘Polyethylene’ is listed. This is a form of microbead.
Microbeads are tiny bits of plastic which used to be common in body scrubs and other beauty products.
Plastic microbeads were banned in the UK last year as they add to ocean plastic pollution. They are not biodegradable and are damaging to marine life.
For products bought prior to July 2018 check the ingredients for... Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) or Nylon (PA). These are the most common types.
And if any product does contain plastic microbeads do not use it and do not wash it down the drain.
Greenpeace UK recommend returning the product to the manufacturer. The other option is to put it in the general rubbish (still in its original packaging) where it will either go to landfill or be incinerated. While neither of these options are ideal it will reduce the chance of these microplastics adding to marine plastic pollution.
The manufacturer of this particular body scrub has now replaced all Polyethylene microbeads with natural alternatives.
For more information check out Beatthemicrobead.org
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