Microbeads have to be in the top 10 of stupid human inventions. They kill animals and are polluting our oceans. But did you also know that everytime you eat fish, you're probably ingesting toxic poison?
Microbeads are the tiny bits of plastic increasingly found in everything from facial scrubs and creams to toothpaste and make-up. They are usually added as exfoliants, but there’s no real proof they even work. Being smaller than a grain of sand, the microbeads are not caught up in water treatment plants. Instead, they end up in our rivers, lakes and oceans by the billions. It’s no exaggeration to say that microbeads are one of the biggest issues we have to deal with right now. They are swallowed by all types of sealife, mainly fish. As we reported on TA last year:
“There, the tiny, plastic beads are often mistaken for fish food. If eating plastic isn’t bad enough for fish, the beads also soak up toxins like PCBs and pesticides in the water. And according to a recent study of lugworms in the Atlantic, it is suggested that small pieces of plastic transfer toxins to the creature that eats them. Simply stated, exfoliating body scrubs could be turning into attractive poison pills, little floating points of toxicity for fish.”
So why not use sand, salt, apricot shells, or another natural exfoliant? Well, because it’s cheaper for corporations to use plastic (and not quite as harsh on the skin, meaning you use more of the product and buy it more regularly). Labeling is also a problem; working your way around a myriad of complex types of plastic on the ingredients isn’t easy for anyone, and most of the time we have no idea we’re buying them.
Microbeads were banned last year in Illinois, and The Story Of Stuff hopes that together we can pressure corporations to take them out of their products altogether.
Let’s ban the bead! Please watch the video and share to raise awareness of this crucial issue.