|Bits of plastic called microbeads are polluting our oceans.
These bits of plastic are called microbeads and you can find them in everything from face soaps to body washes to toothpastes. And while they’re almost invisible to the naked eye, they’re causing serious problems for our waterways and oceans (and us!).
Most wastewater treatment can’t filter out the tiny microbeads — meaning they journey from your bathroom drains into waterways. Once there, they end up in the bellies of fish or other marine life and are passed along the food chain.
National legislation has been introduced in Congress to ban the sale of personal care products that contain plastic microbeads. It’s part of an ever-growing movement that needs your voice.
This doesn’t end in the water. Today’s plastic face wash is in tomorrow’s sushi.
Many fish species that humans eat are known to consume these microbeads at an alarming rate, and the toxins absorbed in those plastics transfer to the fish tissue.
The toxins absorbed by plastic microbeads include pesticides, flame retardants, motor oil and more. And all that ends up in the oceans — and on our plates. We have to act.
The Story of Stuff Project, an organization I founded, is leading a coalition of over 100 groups to get these tiny plastic beads out of everyday products. Greenpeace is proud to be a part of this coalition.
This is a perfect example of the underlying problem with our current economic system and the culture it helps create. Natural alternatives to microbeads exist. But plastic microbeads are smoother than natural alternatives like apricot shells, jojoba beans and pumice.
Smoother is better for the companies making these products because smoother means these cleansers will be less effective at exfoliating… which means you can use them everyday… which means you buy more of the product!
Sadly, it also means poisoned oceans and a poisoned food supply. Plastic pollution in our waterways has become one of the great perils facing our environment. We can do something about it.
Thanks for all you do.
Executive Director, Greenpeace USA
P.S. Tiny pieces of plastic called microbeads are polluting our waterways and oceans. Tell your elected federal representatives to ban microbeads by supporting the Microbead Free Waters Act today!