Microbeads are the tiny, abrasive balls that you may have in noticed in your toothpaste or exfoliant. These plastic balls are too small for water filters to remove and nineteen tonnes of them are dumped down drains each year in New York alone!
They’re polluting our water ways and blocking the digestive system’s of the turtles, seabirds, fish, and invertebrates who are consuming them. If you enjoy dining on mussels or fish, there’s a good chance you’ve been consuming them too. Though the microbeads themselves are not toxic, they accumulate in the environment and absorb toxic chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which are linked to harmful effects on the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, and endocrine system. First mercury in tuna, then radiation from Fukushima, now plastic and PCBs; as an avid seafood lover, I’m as disappointed as you are.
So…why are we doing a happy dance?
At GO-NAYKED, we’re well aware of the negative effects that many personal care products have on our health and the environment. But, instead of dwelling on the damage that has been done, we’re choosing to focus on how we can make a difference. If we don’t celebrate the small victories along the way then we might lose the mojo that we need to keep fighting and when it comes to microbeads, a happy dance is in order.
Through consumer driven change agents like ‘beatthemicrobead.org’, ‘the story of stuff project’, ‘change.org’, ‘citizenscampaign.org’, and many more, our voices have been heard. The US federal government has finally passed the Microbead-Free Waters Act, banning microbeads and their biodegradable plastic alternatives. The best part: it’s not just the government that’s listening to us; big businesses like Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive, L’Oreal, The Body Shop, and Loblaws have realized that they need to meet the demands of their consumers and are voluntarily phasing microbeads out of their products. That my friends, is a true victory! So dance with a friend, dance alone, you can even dance Nayked, because the personal care industry is about to get a little bit greener and a little bit safer.
Don’t Lose Your Mojo
The micro-bead phase-out will begin in July 2017 and the full ban will take effect in January 2018; we can keep the momentum going in the meantime by refusing to use products that contain microbeads. To see if your products contain plastic, check the list of ingredients in your cosmetics, sunscreen, body wash, toothpaste, skincare, and household cleaning products for polyethylene or polypropylene.
You can also fight for change by joining consumer driven campaigns like those mentioned above and refusing buy toxic products. Check out our blacklist to see which ingredients you should avoid and support companies who refuse to use toxins in their products by shopping at GO-Nayked.com. We’ll do our part to keep you dancing, by providing updates about positive changes in the industry that you can share with your family and friends.