Microbeads, those tiny exfoliating plastic beads in our favourite body scrub and beauty products like soaps, body washes, and toothpaste may soon be no more overseas after a U.S. Senate passed a bill banning them. It is now up to President Obama to decide if the ruling will become US law, according to The Hill.
But why are so many against the use of them in products? Mainly because the are environmentally unfriendly. Reports suggest that these microbeads have been falling out of favour among consumers due to their negative environmental impact. Those supporting the bill said that such beads get through water treatment facilities and end up floating in lakes or rivers, where they build up as plastic pollution and are often mistaken by fish for food.
“Microbeads seem like a nice way to get extra ‘scrub’ in your soap, but they pose a very real danger to our Great Lakes,” the co-chair of the US Senate Great Lakes Task Force said. “Researchers are finding these bits of plastic building up in our lakes, rivers and streams. When we see these kinds of things are threatening our Great Lakes and potentially threatening fish populations, we need to take swift action.”
If such a federal bill is passed stateside, this would prohibit the sale of any cosmetic or skincare product that contains microbeads. That would force companies to change their formulations. And, considering the fact that major brands, such as Neutrogena and a host of others utilise these in their products, many items would need serious makeovers. Though, many beauty brands such as Lush do offer alternatives, such as using sand to aid the exfoliation process. The phase-out would begin in January 2018. This is currently an issue on US soil, but it will be interesting to see if any other countries (including Ireland) would follow suite. A number of organisations on our shores have long called for a similar ban, so perhaps a US ruling would prompt action on the issue.
Would you be happy to see microbeads gone from all our beauty products?
Via The Hill