Wrong. Wait, what?!? There's these little thing called microbeads. I admit I've been using them because the texture helps my skin look oh so fresh and clean (when I forget to bring my scrub brush). In fact, the face wash I brought when I traveled to the conference had microbeads. I'm thinking these are just little hard bits of soap, same stuff the cleanser is made out of, right? Nope. Little tiny bits of one-time use polyethylene. Apparently every major consumer products company has these plastic microbeads in products or product lines. Even the companies that IMO are more eco than others (et tu Body Shop "Natural Products Inspired by Nature"? Unilever "Sustainable Living Plan"?).
AACK! And here I was, buying a product from Neutrogena, one of the worst offenders. I am eco-shamed, but shaming is not what we do here at Enviro(ish). It's all about the journey and learning. Phew!
Starting today, I'm not going to use the rest of this face wash and promise not to buy personal care products with beads or using polyethylene. It's such an easy step that makes a big difference. Because the more I'm thinking about microbeads, the more CRAZY BANANAS it is....not just for the planet but for my health!
And for the planet, one bottle of some products can have over 300,000 microbeads....these plastic microbits are too small to be captured by many sewage treatment plants. This falls squarely into the modern-day box of "just because we can do something doesn't mean we should". I mean, how many people would buy personal care products with beads and use them on their bodies if they thought about it like the petroleum based material it is:
Photo courtesy of Lindsay Jurca
Since I'm an Enviro(ish) environmentalist I took it one step farther and signed the 5 Gyres petition. Sometimes it does take a concerted effort to call out something that's not right for the planet, and have a conversation on what should be common sense.
Are you microbead free or are you free from now on? Was this already something you knew or did you learn more by reading?