Environmental Education and Vocational Training
Beat the Microbead: A worldwide campaign to ban plastic microbeads
Beat the Microbead is an international campaign supported by AKTI Project and Research Centre along with numerous NGOs worldwide against microbeads used in cosmetics.
Microbeads and Pollution
Microbeads are tiny particles of plastic that have been added to possibly thousands of personal care products sold around the world. These microbeads, hardly visible to the naked eye, flow straight from the bathroom drain into the sewer system. Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to filter out microbeads and that is the main reason why ultimately, they contribute to the Plastic Soup swirling around the world’s oceans. Sea creatures absorb or eat microbeads. These microbeads are passed along the marine food chain. Since humans are ultimately at the top of this food chain, it is likely that we are also absorbing microbeads from the food we eat. Microbeads are not biodegradable and once they enter the marine environment, they are impossible to remove.
About the campaign
The campaign aims to prevent manufacturers and retailers from using and selling products containing microbeads, and asks governments to ban their use in cosmetics. It was launched in 2012 and it is currently supported by 86 NGOs from 37 countries and 446 brands from 117 different manufacturers. This positive response shows that more and more of these microbeads are being removed from personal care products and replaced by natural alternatives. It is still a far cry to say that all personal care products are free from plastic microbeads though.
In October 2013, an internationally functional, smartphone application and supporting online platform (www.beatthemicrobead.org) were launched to support the campaign. The Beat the Microbead app makes it easy to check whether a product contains plastic.
For more information, click here.
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