What Are Micro beads And Why Are They Bad For The Environment?

What Are Micro beads And Why Are They Bad For The Environment?

Have you ever noticed the very tiny rough beads in your cosmetics (mostly)? Yes people, they are known as micro beads.

What is a micro bead?

The definition:

Micro beads are manufactured solid plastic particles of less than one millimeter in their largest dimensionWhere are they found?

Your shampoo, scrubs, toothpastes, soaps, washing powders etc. They can be practically found in most of your cosmetics.

Why are they harmful?

When micro beads are washed down the drain, they subsequently pass unfiltered through sewage treatment plants and make their way into rivers and canals, resulting in plastic particle water pollution.

The beads can absorb and concentrate pollutants like pesticides and polycyclic hydrocarbons.

A variety of wildlife, from insect larvae, small fish, amphibians and turtles to birds and larger mammals, mistake micro beads for their food source.

This ingestion of plastics introduces the potential for toxicity not only to these animals but to other species higher in the food chain.

How can you identify them?

They are most frequently made of polyethylene but can be of other petrochemical plastics such as polypropylene and polystyrene. You should look for these compounds on the packaging of a product.

Way ahead:

Though the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) banned the use of Micro beads in cosmetics in October 2017, it will only be implemented this year.

But, YOU, need to care about what you’re buying.

Read before you buy.

Be vigilant, and #DoYourBit

Back to blog