Macro campaign on micro beads gets going
Amsterdam, 21st August 2012. A major new campaign to tackle microplastics entering the marine environment has been launched. SAR has signed on to help solve the problem of micro beads found in 100’s of personal hygiene products that can end up down our plug holes and into our seas.
Seas At Risk member organization the North Sea Foundation along with the Plastic Soup Foundation are spearheading the campaign that is calling on some of the world’s biggest cosmetics brands to end the use of microplastics in personal hygiene products.
Due to the inability of waste water systems to filter out the microscopic beads - that are included in multiple products such as shampoos, face care creams, toothpaste, lip-balm and shaving foam - the beads will inevitably end up in the marine environment.
The campaign is calling on Unilever, Hema, L’Oreal, Rituals, Yves Rocher, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and many other big name brands to replace the plastic beads with natural degradable alternatives.
The group’s are also calling on governments and European decision makers to make a stand and ban the use of microplastics in the cosmetics sector.
Almost all marine fauna are susceptible to ingesting microplastics as they are often incapable of distinguishing between natural food sources and plastics. Microplastics can also carry persistent organic pollutants (POP’s) that easily attach and can be transported vast distances across seas and oceans.
One major fear is that plastics ingested by fish and other marine life are ending up on our plates and potentially affecting human health.
Photograph courtesy of the Plastic Soup Foundation
Watch the launch video with Captain Charles Moore, founder of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Find out more about the campaign on Facebook
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Read our joint NGO position paper