Plastic Microbead Ban – and alternatives

plastic free oceans

You may have seen online the petition to get the UK government to consider banning plastic microbeads here. The US has already agreed to ban the production of microbeads in personal care products from 2017.

Microbeads are the tiny particles of plastic that are found in body scrubs, face washes, some toothpastes etc.

They are so tiny that, once they are flushed down the drain, water filtering plants can’t stop them. Unfiltered they end up in the world’s rivers and seas where they don’t degrade. Here they can be ingested by marine life, which is harmful to them and to us (if we end up consuming some of this marine life).

It seems such an unnecessary form of pollution, just to make our teeth brighter or our skin glow.

But there are alternatives…

The very handy Beat the Microbead website here has a great list of products that do and don’t contain microbeads. Since I found out about microbeads I have been searching for alternatives and have discovered Lush’s Ocean Salt scrub which smells of summer holidays and works really well.


What’s more if you collect five of their plastic pots and return them empty to the store you get a free face mask. They recycle all their black pots (see here).  The blog Refuge for Daffodils has also pointed out that at the bottom of each black pot is a number that equates with how many times it has been recycled (10 is the limit). So far I’ve collected two pots that seem to be on life number 2 and 6.


The deadline for the UK petition to parliament is 23 January so please consider signing it. And do look at the list of alternative products as well.