Plastic in your soap, by design??

March 5, 2013

Avoid exfoliating soaps with plastic beads

Imagine designing a product which, when used exactly as directed, releases tiny bits of plastic that can wind up in the ocean and persist for ages.  Crazy, right?

Crazy, but true.  For years, many exfoliating soaps have been laced with plastic microbeads.  They’re an abrasive, to remove dead skin particles, but they end up going down the drain.  If they make their way into marine environments (and that’s often what happens), they stay – for a long, long time.  Microbeads from exfoliating soap are contributing to the millions of tonnes of plastics swirling about in the world’s oceans today.  But they’re about the only plastic there by design.  What were they – or we – thinking?

Unilever, the maker of brands like Dove, Vaseline and Pond’s, announced in January that it would be phasing out plastic microbeads – but only completely by 2015.  My quick search found no similar commitment by Procter and Gamble, maker of brands like Noxzema and Olay.  So what to do right now?

Happy scrubbing!


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