As huge amounts of plastic waste washed up on Hong Kong shores this summer, we got up close and personal with our relationship with the sea. Many of us are familiar with the viral images of turtles wrapped in 6-pack cases, whales with stomachs full of rubbish and the plastic food our fish our eating.
What is less obvious is the hidden hazard in our regular beauty regime.
Most customers would be horrified to discover the effect their facial scrubs are having on the marine environment.
Mary Creagh, British MP
Countries around the world are beginning to ban plastic microbeads and the HK government is requesting research before taking any action — sign this petition.
Companies first began adding plastic microbeads to face and body scrubs in the 70’s. Tiny (less than 1mm) in size, they pass through waste treatment facilities and end up in our ecosystems and contaminate species at the base of our food chain. This means all marine life is consuming plastic.
These simple natural options replace microbeads:
- Pure honey with baking soda added
- Cotton facecloth with honey or water
- Ground oatmeal mixed with pure honey
- Use a loofah or terry cloth as a body scrub
- Paste of sugar mixed with olive or grapeseed oil
- Smooth paste of mashed papaya for 15-minute facial
NOTE: It’s best not to exfoliate more than once a month.
Today, even naturally branded companies like Neutrogena and Aveeno include plastic in the list of ingredients in their products.
Check the labels for polyethylene (PE), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), nylon, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polypropylene (PP).
- Plastic microbeads in scrubs
- Are you washing your face with plastic?
- Microbeads – another HK plastic disaster
- Plastic microbead ban continues to expand
- Greenpeace warns of tiny plastic debris in seafood
- HK charity launches petition to ban plastic microbeads
- Firms urged to disclose their policy details to the public
- House approves bill to ban plastic microbeads in cosmetics
- Microplastic pollution in 170 different types of Hong Kong seafood
- Evidence of microbeads from personal care product contaminating the sea
- Greenpeace names and shames brands for microbead content
- Help stop the use of plastic microbeads in skin care products
The question was asked in LegCo …
whether it will follow the practice of some countries in Europe and America by completely banning the import, sale and manufacture of products containing microbeads in Hong Kong
What the brands are saying
- States are cracking down on microbeads
- Which brands are polluting the ocean with microbeads?
- App to help consumers beat the microbead
- Plastic particle water pollution