I always thought those “microbeads” in face cleansers were little solidified bubbles of some kind of oil, soap or other substance that dissolved into foam. Turns out, I was completely wrong. “Microbeads” are actually little pieces of plastic floating in your face scrub , body scrub, and in your tootpaste! The artificially-created microbead–which is made out of a variety of plastic materials including polyethylene, polypropylene, and polymethyl methacrylate, etc.– replaces natural biodegradable ingredients like ground almond or walnut shells, and salt crystals. Microbeads are NOT biodegradable.
So, if microbeads aren’t biodegradable, what happens to them? After you wash your face or if you wash a product down the drain, the microbeads are then washed down the drain and into the water system. Eventually, they are washed into rivers, lakes, and the oceans. They might break down into smaller micro-plastic particles, but they never thoroughly disintegrate. Here’s just how small microbeads can get
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