Monday, 10 March 2014
Monday, 3 March 2014
Sunday, 23 February 2014
I recently wrote a review of 'The World Without Us', which highlights environmental and societal problems that the world faces. One of the chapters in the book focuses on plastics, and their impact on the environment. In particular it mentioned the damages of small pieces of plastics in the oceans, which can be found in cosmetics and face scrubs. The chapter is the inspiration for this little post, which explains why plastics in beauty scrubs are harmful and offers a few more eco friendly alternatives.
Did you know that whenever you use a beauty product that has 'micro grains', 'bursting beads' or any other form of exfoliating particles, you are contributing to the pollution of the oceans, and the build up of plastics in both the sea and the creatures that live there? Plastics take thousands of years to bio degrade (break down), some particular types take millions. Every time you wash with a synthetic exfoliant, the particles are washed away into the watercourses and inevitably end up in the ocean.
Image: Ocean Voyages Institute
Images such as that of the poor albatross above are often bandied around to highlight the dangers of larger plastic pieces polluting the seas. However, tiny particles can also cause significant damage. If the teeny tiny plankton and micro-organisms that make up the base of the food chain become full of plastic particles, not only can this cause a decline in the population of these essential micro organisms, but it can also cause a build up of these particles further up the food chain causing accumulated damage to hundreds of species, including ourselves. Think it's irrelevant - so what if some fish die? What if they are the fish you are eating? Nice to know you're eating little plastic particles? Yum.....
So, what can we do?
Instead of buying a chemical and plastic based scrub, why not chose something with natural particles in, such as St Ives Apricot Scrub? These do biodegrade, and won't cause any damage to the environment. There are a huge range of different scrubs available, but check out the Body Shop, Burt's Bees, Kiehls and Green People. Neal's Yard also has a great range, and Boots will have a few natural options - just look at the labels.
Image: Neal's Yard