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What You Need to Know About Microbeads

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Microbeads have come to light in the past couple years as a potential hazard to the environment. Whilst we all enjoy an exfoliator; the environment is sadly paying a higher price for our beauty needs. These tiny balls of plastic are increasingly filling our oceans and are risking the lives of the creatures that live there. As beauty and environment conscious individuals moving towards banning microbeads will ensure the safety of the ocean and its critters as well as a move towards educating ourselves on what trends we should be ditching for the sake of society.

 

But how these tiny balls of plastic are causing such havoc you ask? Well, whilst washing our face daily with microbead infused products, these beads begin their journey down the sink and on their travels to the sea. They are designed to simply wash away but this is what scientists and environmentalists alike do not want them to do. Around 1 millimetre in length, they were created as an effective method to exfoliate without damaging our skin whilst we scrub away. Some products that feature the microbead include facial scrubs, moisturizers, sunscreen and makeup products. What makes these tiny balls of plastic so desirable in beauty products is also the reason as to why they are hazardous to the environment.

 

A singular shower can lead to almost 100,000 microbeads into the ocean, according to British MPs.

 

They were created so that they did not dissolve in water, but this precise reason is why they have ended up being some troublesome. They cannot be filtered out of wastewater treatment plants and therefore end up in the streams that lead to oceans and lakes. Calls have been made for companies to stop using microbeads. It is an issue that needs to be addressed, swift action needs to be taken to prevent further damage to the environment. Although talks have been held and mention of the UK introducing a strong ban, no official ban has been made in the UK. All involved need to take action and responsibility in order to work towards a greener future.

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Catrin Jones

Lifestyle Editor 2017-18

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