Polyethylene Beads, a name that you've probably heard before but don't know what exactly it is. They are tiny plastic beads that are found in products from your daily exfoliators, hand soaps and even toothpaste. Many cosmetic companies use natural alternatives such as nut shells and fruit pits but are much more abraisive. Polyethelene beads were created smooth, tiny and more gentle to allow for it to be safe for everyday use. Safer short term, yes, long term? These plastic beads travel down our plumbing lines, then hitting the ocean as sewer filtering systems can't catch them due to the miniscule size. Eventually, the marine life suck them in, trapping them in their gills, lungs and essentially disrupting the ecosystem. All the fish that come out the waters that we buy from shops and cook have toxic chemicals in them from these beads they've swallowed. What goes around comes around everyone, we as a species are putting it into the waters only to be injesting it ourselves!
Now, I'm no professor or scientist, and this isn't a normal post I do but this is just something I've been reading up on as I care about the future of our planet. Now you start to think, looking at your soaps, your exfoliators and toothpaste that these beads are so small they can't really be affecting our waters that much. Put it in this perspective, you use toothpaste twice a day, a daily exfoliator twice a day and your handsoap four or five times a day. Now multiply that by a week, then a month, then a year. Then calculate how many people in the world are doing the same as you...does that change your look on it? I know it did for me.
It has come to my attention when I went to a Biotherm schooling that they are reformulating all their products that have the Polyethylene Beads to get rid of them and I hope this will encourage the rest of the companies out there to get rid of them! I've read many articles about how "we don't even know if this really affects our environment, so who cares", why wait until it's too late to do anything? If we have any inkling that it could harm us and logically speaking it makes sense, why wouldn't we try find alternatives to stop it from happening. There's a lot of drought happening in the world, drinking water is becoming low, why wait until we have none left before coming up with a solution on how to get it back. We as a planet need to be more proactive, and all it takes is for one person to spread awareness to someone else about the potential products that have it and educate people!
There is an organization based out of the Netherlands with a Campaign known internationally as "Beat The Microbead". They created an app in 2012 where you can scan the barcode of a product using your smartphone. It will pop up with results to tell you and if that particular product isn't in their database, they give you all the keywords to look for in the ingredient list to indicate plastic. When you've determind if it has any or not you can add your product to their database so in the future if someone scans the same product you did the information will pop up for them! It's a genius app and a great way to get more awareness out there. Go to your App Store and seach "Beat the Microbead".
Please share this article and get the word out to even more people than it already has! Lots of countries are on board with the movement however there are still some States in the U.S and others around the world who have yet to agree on banning the manufacturing and selling of products containing these plastics!
We can have beauty products but let's not let it be at the cost of our environment!