| There is irony in that we can be both cleaning our face and polluting the oceans at the same time. Do you use a face wash that also exfoliates? Well those little beads that make the product an exfoliator are actually plastics. Those plastic micro-beads then are washed down our drains and go straight into our ocean. You may be thinking well what about the water treatment facilities? These beads that our in our face wash are so small that they cannot be filtered through the treatment plants.
Many problems are caused with these micro-beads accumulating in our waters. The beads do not biodegrade and can stay in our waters for over 100 years. They are also so small that they will even be consumed by the smallest organisms at the bottom of the food chain and will travel there way through the food chain to the largest mammals in the ocean. These beads can also absorb toxins like DDTs and PCBs, so no longer are they eating plastics they are also eating plastics that absorbed toxins.
The biggest problem of it all is that there were alternative solutions before the beauty industry decided to start incorporating plastics into their face washes. There are natural ingredients that can work as exfoliators that were used years before plastics were incorporated. This is a huge issue because this is just one product within the beauty industry. There are many other products that also cause harmful effects to us as well as our environment. You can help stop this pollution by checking the labels of your face washes and to make sure they do not have micro-beads. They are labeled with PE, PP, or PMMA on the product’s ingredients label. Furthermore, these cosmetic companies need to hold themselves accountable for their environmental pollution and if they don’t then the government needs to step in. There are alternatives that exist so there is no need for us to be polluting our oceans by using plastics in our face wash.