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We hate microbeads! As it turns out, California does too, so they’re doing something about it.
If you've been with us for long enough you'll know that microbeads are a hot topic. They are in so many cosmetic products, and are an unnecessary additive to a product that just increases waste in our oceans. For a long time we've been coming up with alternatives to microbead products, but finally, there is a story about someone who wants to change the game altogether!
The California State Assembly voted 58 to 11 in favour of prohibiting the plastic pellets in their creams and gels. Microbeads have been proven to be a danger to the environment, making their way through water drains and into our oceans. They are consumed by wildlife and are now potentially ending up in the seafood we eat!
This vote comes a year after California passed a law to phase out single-use plastic bags from supermarkets, and it seems they want to keep going in the environmental direction. If the Senate approves the new bill, products that use microbeads will be entirely banned in California by 2020. Incredible!
“Toxic microbeads are accumulating in our rivers, lakes and oceans at alarmingly high levels. We can and must act now.”- Democratic Assemblyman Richard Bloom
We're right there with you, Richard! Here is our blog on exactly how microbeads can impact our environment.
Not only do they do long-lasting damage to our ecosystems, they also have an alarming impact on our health. Dentists have warned that the microbeads in toothpaste can be lodged into gums and trigger bacterial infections. A single tube of facial cleanser can contain up to 300,000 microbeads, all of which make their way into our oceans.
Illinois became the first state to ban the sale of microbeads, and now similar laws are being considered in 18 other states. Following the bans, major brands such as Johnson & Johnson, L'Oreal and Colgate have promised to get rid of it altogether, however this will take several years to phase out.
Ocean plastics are a huge problem, with over 700,000,000 tons of plastic currently sitting in our oceans right now. Having said that, there is work being done to retrieve and recycle these plastics, read about this here.
You can do your bit to avoid buying into the microbeads industry! You can start by reducing waste altogether and making your own face scrubs at home. Check out our DIY instructions to making your own Citrus and Tea Tree Body Scrub. If we all say NO to microbeads we are all one step closer to banning them here in Australia! Well done California for leading the charge!
What you can do
Do shopper research on carbon footprint before you buy
CO2 pollution is embedded in everything we buy. By looking for Australian-made products, credible environmental claims, and minimal and recyclable packaging, we can minimise pollution.