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The little microbeads used in exfoliated face wash and toothpaste have been causing a big problem for fish and wildlife. The plastic beads don’t break down in water and are too tiny to be filtered out by sewage systems so literally billions of them end up in lakes and streams everyday.
Fish and other animals swallow the beads, either inadvertently or because the beads look like a cluster of fish roe, and the beads get lodged in their digestive tract making them unable to absorb nutrients – a similar phenomenon that occurs when animals consume plastic bags.
This is a terrible problem for wildlife, which is why it’s such GREAT news that California has proposed a bill to ban the beads! We often hear stories about the crazy ways our products impact wildlife and usually nothing gets done to change them. But this is an awesome win for little fishies everywhere!
The bill will go to vote today and hopefully yield some positive results for wildlife and consumers alike!Banning the plastic beads from cosmetic products would mean that companies would need to reformulate their scrubs and pastes to include an exfoliant that would biodegrade naturally.
The choice between rubbing plastic on your face or a natural alternative is pretty much a no-brainer and it does make you wonder why they even chose to use plastic in the first place. But luckily this choice will no longer need to be made by Californians (fingers crossed) and one day soon hopefully the rest of the country will adopt the ban as well.
Image source: 5Gyres Institute