Environmentalists say that the microbeads from shower gels get into the water supply and endanger aquatic life. Lawmakers around the globe are starting to suggest banning the microbeads.
The microbeads are very small, and during one single shower, more than 100,000 of them could be thrown down the drain.
The environmental committee from British Parliament asked the world to ban the production of microbeads and their use.
The scientists already know that the microbeads are a threat to the water supply and that they have a dangerous impact on marine life.
The tiny pieces of plastic can accumulate in the estuaries, lakes, and oceans throughout the world, entering the food chain and disturbing aquatic life.
The cosmetic companies began to mix the plastic beads in face washes and soaps in order to exfoliate the dead skin. The new receipt was created several years ago. However, over time the beads became to be more and more used in the industry.
The companies decided to renounce using microbeads by 2020, but the British authorities want to set a deadline for as early as 2017. The governmental agencies do not want to leave the issue in the hands of the companies, and they want to stop the plastic beads from going out in the water supply.
In the US, a similar law was passed in December. The cosmetic companies are asked to stop the microbeads use by July 2017 and to develop nontoxic and biodegradable alternatives.
The beads can enter the oceans and rivers, where they can be ingested by tiny zooplankton, oysters, and fish. The small pieces of plastic can get stuck inside the digestive system of the animals, and they can make them stop eating their natural food.
The UN Environmental Assembly said that the plastic pollution had become an emergency, and it costs the world almost $13 billion. Canada already banned the microbeads in 2015, as they acknowledged the fact that microscopic plastic is not good for any living creatures.
The British authorities decided to follow the example of other countries and ban the cosmetic ingredient, as the plastic can affect the safety of marine animals and of the humans that consume them.
Recent statistics show that a plate of oysters could include almost 50 microbeads. While the researchers do not know the effects of ingesting plastic would have on the human organism, it is believed that people would prefer not to eat them.
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