Tiny little bits of plastic, known as microbeads, have been causing quite an uproar around the world.
These tiny plastic beads are used in several personal care products for exfoliation and scrubbing purposes, and they do a great job. The problem is that they aren’t biodegradable and can stick around for decades, almost inevitably ending up in our oceans, where they’re eaten by marine life and also slowly release their chemicals into the water.
According to a 2008 study, mussels were found to contain traces of plastic particles 48 days after ingesting them, and the same study also theorized that as plastic particles break down into smaller pieces (which they naturally do, over time), they become more likely to accumulate in living organisms’ body tissues.
More: Woman suffers serious chemical burns after using DIY tattoo removal kit
The chemicals released by these plastics can cause damage to DNA and even death in marine life, writes Time magazine.
This is why many companies have pledged to stop or to phase out the use of plastic in their products as soon possible, and these include L’Oréal, Unilever (pledged to remove plastic from all products by 2015), Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and Crest, says NBC News.
It’s recommended you avoid personal care products that contain plastic, and if you want some digital assistance in that regard, then luckily there’s an app to help you. Download Beat the Microbead, which will advise you on which products currently contain plastics and which are safe to buy.
Beat the Microbead also lists many other companies that are committed to eliminating these harmful substances from their products and our environment.