It’s time Ireland banned polluting microbeads

You know those facial washes used in the shower by lots of people – Well, the clever little exfoliant beads manufacturers have been adding to them for the last number of years – turns out they are a pretty serious pollutant of our seas. They’ve been banned in a number of countries already and it’s about time Ireland got its act together and banned them as well.

The offending items: Microbeads

The offending items: Microbeads

In every bottle you can get tens of thousands of the little plastic pollutants. And with millions of bottles being sold every week, the numbers of these microbeads entering the sea quickly becomes an environmental nightmare.

Essentially this  Beautifully illustrated by Steve Greenberg

Essentially this  Beautifully illustrated by Steve Greenberg

Sewage treatment plants aren’t designed to filter out the tiny microbeads and that means free passage tosea. All sorts of sea creatures absorb or eat these microbeads, big fish eats the little one and all the way up the food chain to where the lovely fillet of Plaice on you plate may now contain these plastic pollutants.

They’re not biodegradable and they are effectively impossible to remove from the ecosystem once there. So we need to stop using these beads today.

microbeads bad for ocean cartoon

Not good for fish  Image belongs to Adam at Buffalo news

How can this problem be solved?

Just one step to follow: Stop buying wash products that contain them. Check the ingredients and pass every time. We recommend you download the useful Beat the Microbead App. Two Dutch NGO’s set up this brilliant app that allows consumers to scan personal care product to check for the presence of plastic microbeads. How it works is really simple: The app will read the bar code of the product, and indicate – using colour coding – whether microbeads are present in the product:

  • Red: Contains microbeads;
  • Orange: Contains microbeads, but the manufacturer has indicated it will replace in a given timeframe or adapt the product accordingly;
  • Green: Product is free from microbeads.

For the sake of our oceans and your own health, let’s stop using micrbeads today.

The App: Get.beatthemicrobead.org

About the Author

Daniel Farrell

Interested in all things on the Irish coast and sharing the best of it. // Email: Daniel@coastmonkey.ie // Follow on Twitter: @DanielsSeaViews