Microbeads are plastic microspheres that are widely used in the cosmetics industry as exfoliating agents. They are most frequently made of polyethylene but can be made of other petrochemical plastics. Environmentalists and scientists have discovered large quantities of microbeads in Australian waterways, which often end up in unsuspecting marine life. Microbeads do not disintergrate. If more attention is paid to what ends up in our water then we can ensure healthier ecosystems that support the communities around us.
Australian scientists have found 60-100 particles of plastic micro debris in 100 millilitres of sediment – among the highest levels recorded in the world. Researches on the Great Barrier Reef have found that corals commonly found there will eat micro-plastic pollution. “Corals are non selective feeders and the researches have found that they consume micro plastics when present in seawater” says Dr Mia Hoogenboom, a chief investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University.
Microbeads were a human invention that were simply not needed. They were designed to take the place of the easily accessible alternatives like apricot and walnut shells, jojoba beans and pumice. It was believed that these new and exciting “microbeads” were smoother and better for your skin… in actual fact they just meant you had to use them more often which meant you had to buy them more often. Natural alternatives provide fabulous exfoliation, can be used less often on the skin and most importantly do not harm our environment. A much more sustainable alternative.
Australia must now follow the lead of the US and outlaw the use of microbeads in all cosmetics. Organic Nation supports the ban of micro beads
Our facial exfoliating product, black rice scrub with ginseng and gingko, uses finely ground black rice and pumice. Natural charcoal powder acts as a detoxifier as well as mild exfoliant. A wonderfully invigorating exfoliant that does not end up in our coral or your sushi!