Why Your Beauty Regime Could be Hurting Our Oceans

Why Your Beauty Regime Could be Hurting Our Oceans

Why Your Beauty Regime Could Be Hurting Our Oceans

Our oceans are full of plastic already, and the problem is being made worse by the inclusion of plastic particles in products we use in our beauty and personal hygiene routines every day.

Small particles called microplastics, which are found in face washes, body scrubs, and much more, can harm marine life and get into the food chain. The US has already banned the use of microbeads in cosmetic products and other countries are considering following suit.

What are microplastics?

They are purpose-made small plastic pieces which are found in makeup, body scrubs, and washing up liquids. They are that small, that the sewage system doesn’t stop them from reaching our waterways. Marine animals can eat the plastic beads, and they enter the food chain, which means that we probably ingest them at some point. They are not biodegradable, so once they enter the oceans, they are impossible to get rid of.

What can you do?

You can reduce the amount of single-use plastic items that you use and reduce the amount of plastic packaging you buy.

Recycle the plastics you do use, where possible.

Avoid buying products which contain microbeads.

Help to clean up your local area. Even if you don’t live by the sea, picking up litter will prevent it from entering our rivers and seas.

Beat the Microbead

This is a coalition of 91 organisations in 38 countries, who are demanding that manufacturers of cosmetic products make them without microbeads. They are also demanding that legislation is introduced to ban microbeads, and to ensure that companies don’t include them by negotiating legal loopholes.

They have developed a ‘Look For The Zero’ logo for companies and brands that declare their products to be free from microbeads. This logo gives a clear message to consumers who want to buy products that don’t contain these harmful plastics. They want to provide consumers with an app where they can check if a product contains microbeads, and on their website, companies will be put on a list which will be separated into 4 categories:

Red: Products contain microplastics

Orange: Products on this list have been found to contain one or more type of microplastic

Green: Products don’t contain Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Polyethylene terephthalate, Polymethyl methacrylate or Nylon but they might contain other types of microplastics

Zero: All products on this list are free from all known microplastics