What are these plastic particles?
These persistent and tiny plastic fragments are made from synthetic polymers such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), the names of which can be seen on product labels. They are used as an exfoliating or abrasive material and can be perfectly between 5% and 10% of the volume of our body scrub.
Detection is very simple, we just have to see if in the list of ingredients of the product contains the words polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP). Remember that the list of ingredients in a cosmetic is found on the back of the container
How do these particles end up in our oceans?
This is when we must become aware. When using products containing these particles in our shower or toilet, they end up in our drains and later to the water treatment plants. The main problem is that they are particles of very different sizes, ranging from 0.05mm to 1mm. On the one hand the smaller particles can not be detected / separated by the purification systems so they end up in our rivers, lakes and oceans. On the other hand, the ones that are bigger are separated and end up in the sewage sludge which in turn are used, in part, as fertilizer for our fields, so the problem does not improve precisely.
What does the scientific community say about this event?
Last September, the journal Environmental Science and Technology published an article signed by scientists from seven universities and institutions in the United States that advocated the prohibition and use of plastic microspheres in everyday products such as toothpaste and the exfoliators, because of the serious environmental problems that generated their residues. The team led by Chelsea Rochman of the Society for Conservation Biology also uphold their ban claiming that “it is the best way to protect the quality of water, wildlife and natural resources.” “We are facing an environmental crisis because of plastic waste without being aware that the problem can start with the simple fact of brushing our teeth,” says study co-author Stephanie Green, Faculty of Science, State University of Oregon. “We have shown in various studies that microplastics of microsphere size and shape similar to toothpaste microspheres can transfer contaminants to animals and cause toxic effects,” said Chelsea Rochman.
What are the best natural, non-polluting alternatives?
All those particles that allow the exfoliation process to be carried out, which are biodegradable and non-toxic. In this group we would find exfoliants based on salt, sugar or seed particles and shells of various fruits or vegetables. That is why we consider our microbeads of tagua, in all the measures you need, please contact us and we can provide assistance for new projects.