Have you heard the latest news? The United States has come to a decision about microbeads: as of now, they’re banned in rinse-off cosmetics.
What is the problem with microbeads?
Microbeads are tiny plastic balls used in many cosmetics for exfoliating or cleansing. When rinsed off, they go down the drain, but they’re too small to be caught in treatment plant filters and make their way into oceans, lakes, and rivers (including the St. Lawrence)
Microbeads are made of polyethylene, known to attract bacteria and viruses. As they make their way along waterways, they can thus add pathogens to ecosystems. And of course they can also be ingested by certain species. So in addition to harming plants and animals, they can also be found on our dinner plates…
Alternatives for microbeads
We’re not here to point fingers, but rather to talk about solutions (that’s how we make progress, right?)
There are many natural exfoliating products that are effective, good for the skin, and biodegradable. Here are a few, listed in order of their abrasive power, from the gentlest to the roughest:
- Vanilla bean specks
- Dried flowers (https://cocoeco.ca/catalog/313) make soft, beautiful additions to soaps
- Blueberry seeds
- Cranberry seeds
- Dead sea salt to make salt scrubs
- Pumice stone, for hard, dry areas, such as your feet, for example. Check out our “green thumb” gardener’s soap, for example.
Alternatives in your kitchen
- Coffee grounds
- Poppy seeds
Alternatives in your bathroom
Hopefully, Canada will catch up soon and ban microbeads as well. In the meantime, we can all stay informed and change our habits slightly.
For more information and to find out if your favourite products contain microbeads, click here: http://beatthemicrobead.org